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The Sociological Review 



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ShBRRATT & HUOHBS 

Publishers to the Victoria University of Manchester 

Manchester: 94 Cross Street 

London: 60 Chandos Street W.C. 



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THE 



Sociological Review 



VOL. I. 

1908 



MANCHESTER 

At the University Press 
1908 



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\ 

i CONTENTS. 

ABTICLES. Page 

HobhouM, Prof. L. T. Editorial 1 

Westermarck, Prof. E. Suicide : A Chapter in Oomparative Ethics 12 

Morrison, Rev. W. D. The Criminal Problem S4 

Marett, R. R. A Sociological View of Comparative Religion 48 

Fisher, H. A. L. The Sociological View of History 61 

Jevons, Principal. The Definition of Magic 105 

-Mackenzie, Dr. W. Leslie The Family and the City 118 

Carlyle, Rev. A. J. The History of Freedom 139 

Slaughter, Dr. J. W. Psychological Factors in Social Transmission 148 

Robertson, John M., M.P. The Tutelage of Races 158 

Tupper, Sir C. L. Sociology and Comparative Politics 209 

\/ Trotter, W. Herd Instinct and its Bearing on the Psychology of Civilised 

Man 227 

Iqbal, S. M. Political Thought in Islam 249 

Hobhouse, Prof. L. T. The Law of the Three SUges 262 

Swinny, 8. H. A Sociological View of the History of Ireland 280 

-Sorley, Prof. W. R. The Problem of Decadence S21 

Freire-Marreco, Barbara. Authority in Uncivilised Society 330 

Mackenaie, Prof. J. S. Recent Contributions to the Study of Socialism 348 

Qeddes, Prof. P. Chelsea, Past and Possible 357 

Ratcliffe, 8. K. Aspects of the Social Movement in India 364 

DISCUSSIONS. 

Geddee, Prof. P. The Survey of Cities 74 

Beveridge, W. H. The Unemployed Workmen Act in 1906-7 79 

Dickinson, G. Lowes. Sociology and Ethics 175' 

Bridgwater, T. R. The "Child Criminal" 178- 

Carpenter, Dr. J. Estlin. Note on the Congress of the History of Religions 183 
Brabrook, Sr Edward. Old Age Pensions. I. The Dangers of the Non- 
Contributory Principle 291 

Hobson, J. A. Old Age Pensions. II. The Responsibility of the State to 

the Aged Poor 295 

St. John, Capt. A. The Indeterminate Sentence. I. The Need for Refor- 
mative Treatment 377 

Wilson, Dr. Albert. The Indeterminate Sentence. II. The Effect on the 

Criminal 383 

BOOK REVIEWS. 

Urwick, E. J. Evgene Richter: Pictures of the Socialistic Future 84 

Max Hirseh: Exposure of Socialism 84 

T. Kirkup Enquiry into Socialism 84 

Karl Marx: Capital. Vol. II 84 

/. R, Maedonaid: Socialism and Society 84 



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CONTENTS 

Gooch, G. P. C, Janasen: History of the German People 89 

H,Munro CJuidtpick: Origin of the English Language 90 

Edmund Dale: National Life in Early English Literature 90 

Marvm, F. S. Rtgindld A. Bray: The Town Child 91 

Hutchins, B. L. AnntUt M. B. Meakin: Woman in Transition 93 

Tawney, R. H. Clement Edwards: Railway Nationalisation 94 

P. G. Barrett WendeU: France of To-day 96 

Swinny, S. H. O. Locker Lampson: Consideration of the State of Ireland 

in the 19th C«itury 96 

Tawney, R. H. Edward Jenks: Outline of English Local GK)yemment 97 

Findlay, M.E. W. E. Urwick: The Child's Mind, its Growth and Training 97 

H. C. Henry Jephson: Sanitary Evolution of London 98 

C. E. C. Louise Creighton: Economics of the Household 99 

Findlay, Prof. M, W. Keatinge: Suggestion in Education 100 

^winny, S. H. Henri de Tourville (trans, by M. G. Loch) : The Growth 

of Modem Nations 186 

J. W. S. Francis Gkdton and Edgar Schuster: Noteworthy Families 191 

Alvan A, Tenney: Social Democracy and Population ' 191 

Karl Pearson: Scope and Importance to the State of the Science of 

National Eugenics 191 

Edward L. Thomdike: Introduction to the Theory of Mental and 

Social Measurements 191 

Marett, R. R. GUhert Murray: The Rise of the Greek Epic 193 

Thomas Day Seymour: Life in the Homeric Age 193 

Read, Prof. Carveth. William L. Davidson: The Stoic Cieed 196 

Hutchins, B. L. C. C, Stapes: British Freewomen: Their Historical 

Privilege 198 

Findlay, M. E. W. B. Drummond: Introduction to Child Study 199 

Leuba, J. H. Wilhelm Bousset: What is Religion 200 

Tawney, R. H. E. Q. Howarth and Mona Wilson: West Ham : a Study 

in Social and Industrial Problems 300 

L. T. H. /. S. Mackenzie: Lectures on Humanism with Special Reference 

to its Bearings on Sociology 305 

Hudson, J. C. Albion Small: Adam Smith and Modem Sociology 806 

J. A. H. P. H. Castberg: Production: a Study in Economics 307 

Yves Guyot: La Democratie Individnaliste 308 

Leigh, A. M. Arthur Bauer: Essai sur les Revolutions 309 

Gooch, G. P. E. Bernstein: Sozialismus und Demokratie in der Grossen 

Englischen Revolutions 309 

Hutchins, B. L. Violet Markham: Factory and Shop Acts of the British 

Dominions 311 

Haddon, A. C. George McCaU Theal: History and Ethnography of 

Africa, South of the Zambesi 388 

Jerome Dowd: The Negro Races: A Sociological Study 388 

Robertson, J. M. A. F. Pollard: Factors in Modem History 392 

Carpenter, Dr. J. Estlin. Campbell Oman: The Brahmans, Theists and 

Muslims of India 394 

C. E. C. Eglantyne Jebb : Cambridge : A Brief Study in Social Questions 396 

J. A. H. S. J. Chapman: Work and Wages 397 

Mallon, J. A. Report of the National Conference for Sweated Industries... 898 

Beveridge, W. H. Ernest Aves: Co-operative Industry 399 

Morrison, W. D. Charles E. B. Russell and L. M. Bigby: The Making of 

the Criminal 400 

J. A. H. The Need of the Nations : An International Parliament 401 



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CONTENTS vii 

OFFICIAL PUBLICATIONS. 

CoBt of Liying of the Working Classes 201 

Sixty-Ninth Annual Report of the Registrar-General of Births, Marriages 

and Deaths in England and Wales (1906). Cd. 3833 202 

Preliminary Report of the Central (Unemployed) Body for London to 

May 12th, 1906 812 

Second Report of the Central (Unemployed) Body for London, May 12th, 

1906, to June 30th, 1907 312 

The Control of Infantile Mortolity 814 

Children Under the Poor Law. A Report to the President of the Local 

Gtovernment Board. (Cd. 3899) 314 

Report from the Select Committee on Home Work, 1908, No. 246 403 

Report of the Wages Boards and Industrial Conciliation and Arbitration 

Acts of Australia and New Zealand, by Ernest Aves 403 

Unemployed Workmen Act, 1906. Return of the Proceedings of Distress 

Committees during the Year ending March 31st, 1908 406 

Report of the Royal Commission on the Care and Control of the Feeble- 

Minded. Cd. 4202 406 

Annual Summary of the Registrar General, of Marriages, Births and Deaths 

in England and Wales for 1907 

Report of the Registrar of Friendly Societies. (1906) 

Homicide (Punishment in Foreign Countries). House of Commons paper, 316 



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THE 

Sociological Review 

VOL. I. No. 1. JANUARY, 1908. 

EDITORIAL. 

The " Sociological Review '' takes the place of the annual ' 
volume of collected ** Papers " in which proceedings of the 
Sociological Society have been published hitherto. By quarterly 
publication it is possible to secure greater continuity of treatment 
and more scope for the scientific handling of the subject; and 
the publishing of a Review is felt to be the best method of putting 
the work of the Society on a permanent footing and rendering 
it accessible to the world. The work of the Society, has, among 
other things, done something towards clearing up misconceptions 
of the nature and problems of Sociology, and defining the scope 
of any sociological journal. But it would be ill to pretend that 
we have arrived at general agreement on this initial question. We 
cannot yet assume that Sociology means the same thing to all 
people or that there would be universal agreement as to the 
appropriate contents of a sociological journal. Not only are 
there still many who deny the bare existence of Sociology, but, 
what is more serious, among Sociologists there are still many 
deep divergences of view as to the nature and province of the 
enquiries which they professedly pursue in common. This diver- 
gence is, however, not a sign of disease but rather of the raw 
vigour and exuberance of youth. An enemy is doubtless entided 
to make the most of the fact that the enthusiasts for a science 
have not hitherto been able to decide among themselves what 
their science is about. But if disagreement as to its fundamental 
definitions is used as a proof that a science does not exist and 
cannot be brought into existence, it is to be feared that other 
sciences will follow Sociology to annihilation. Political Economy 
is generally admitted to be a science, but economists would not 
seek to prove it by pointing to the general agreement in their 
definitions of Wealth, of Capital, of Production and other funda- 
mental conceptions. Biology is a science, but how many Biolo- 

A 



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2 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

gists can satisfy themselves — to say nothing of satisfying one 
another — ^with any definition of Life. What in the light of recent 
researches is the limit between Chemistry and Physics? Is it 
certain that the present demarcation between the sciences of Life 
and those which deal with inanimate matter is of any permanent 
validity? Indeed if a science sets out to deal with the properties 
of matter, must we demand that it should first define satisfactorily 
what matter is and what it means by a property, and if so, should 
we find that any physical science can yet be reckoned among the 
number of human achievements? In reality it is precisely the 
most elementary conceptions that remain longest in the dark. 
The physicist can far more readily teach us what matter does than 
what matter is. The dialectician may prove that this is absurd, 
but the fact is so. The biologist finds it a great deal easier to 
tell us about life than to tell us what that life is which he is 
talking about. We are able to follow him (if we are not dialec- 
ticians) because we already have some rough notion of what life 
means. We are not prepared with a definition but ** if you do 
not ask we understand." So it is with the biologist himself. He 
has a rough, broad conception which serves as a starting point 
for his investigations. He finds it difficult to put this conception 
into a rigid formula, and if he succeeds in doing so the very 
progress of his enquiry will probably confute him. As he learns 
more and more about his subject matter so does his original con- 
ception of that matter grow and change and remodel itself under 
his hands. The more he knows about living things the more 
adequate his definition of Life. But if this is so it is clear that 
the definition which is to satisfy everybody must come not at the 
beginning but at the end of discovery. We must know what we 
are investigating only in the sense that we must have a rough and 
provisional outline of the field of work. If this imperfect and 
broken knowledge be ruled out, it remains that we can only 
know what we are looking for when we have found it. 

What may be fairly demanded of Sociologists then is not that 
they should have a nicely rounded definition of the object of 
sociological investigation which should command universal agree- 
ment, but rather that they should have sufficient common under- 
standing of the nature and aims of a science of Society to render 
discussion fruitful and co-operation possible. They must have a 
rough and provisional conception of ** Society " just as in Biology 
students must have a rough and provisional conception of Life. 
That is, the term must be at once generic and distinctive. It must 



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EDITORIAL 3 

serve to group certain matters together and to distinguish them 
from others, as possible objects of scientific investigation. Does 
the phrase science of society serve this purpose ? If it allows room 
for cavil among sociologists it is probably in the use of the term 
•* science " rather than of the term ** society." Some would 
doubtless prefer to speak of Social Philosophy and deny that 
Society can be an object of a science comparable to Physics or 
Biology. This objection, however, can only be grounded on the 
more restricted use of the term science in which it is opposed to 
philosophy. If by science we mean merely unprejudiced inves- 
tigation, accurately measured statement and the systematic prose- 
cution of a subject through all the windings of interrelated facts 
—then philosophy itself aims at being a science. It is only if 
certain presuppositions as to the subject matter of science be 
allowed, if for example there is a separation between ** nature '* 
and that which is not of nature, or between the sphere of law and 
that of ** freedom," and if science be restricted to one side of 
the partition, that any question can arise as to the use of the 
term in connection with society. As long as no such presuppositions 
are covertly introduced by the use of the term probably all Socio- 
logists will agree that their object is the Science of Society. They 
hold that is to say that the Social Life constitutes a distinct field 
for investigation, and that it should be investigated in a scientific 
spirit— that is to say in the spirit which makes the ascertainment 
of the truth the immediate object, which aims at accurately 
measured statement, and at the systematic interconnection of the 
facts which it ascertains. I do not know whether all who profess 
and call themselves Sociologists would accept this account of 
their views, but on the other hand I do not know of any serious 
work on sociology which does not on its own lines seek to fulfil 
this purpose. 

Within the limits of such a conception, however, very great 
variety of treatment is of course possible and the reader who 
wishes to know something of the scope and plan of a new journal 
may be expected to ask for something more definite. It is not, 
fortunately, among the recognised duties of an Editorial Committee 
to produce definitions, but in view of the admitted divergences 
in the handling of sociological investigations, it is perhaps well 
for those responsible for a sociological journal to give some 
indication of the ground which they hope to cover. This ground, I 
think, can only be marked off at the present stage by reference to the 
actual work done or in the doing by sociologists, that is, by all 



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4 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

who treat problems of social life in the scientific spirit. As already 
pointed out this would by no means exclude many of those who 
would maintain that their own method was not scientific but 
philosophical. The fundamental questions of social life were for 
long studied mainly under the aegis of political philosophy and one 
of the first points which a modern sociologist, seeking to define 
his subject, has to consider is the relation of his method to this 
older discipline. He finds to begin with that systematic political 
thinking developed in close connection with the general movement 
of metaphysics and moral philosophy. For this there is a double 
reason. On the one hand political philosophy whether in Hobbes 
or Locke, in Rousseau or Bentham, in John Mill or T. H. Green, 
closely resembles general philosophy in its method. Like meta- 
physics or ethics, it takes as its starting point common current 
conceptions, conceptions of law and government, of liberty and 
obligation, of the individual and society, conceptions which we all 
use and all suppose ourselves to understand until someone asks 
us what we mean by them. This someone is the philosopher and 
in the use of such conceptions as have been instanced, it is the 
political philosopher. That is to say, the political philosopher has 
sought for light by scrutinising those principles of human asso- 
ciation which are so fundamental that everybody else takes them 
for granted. In other words he is dealing according to his lights 
with the most general conditions of social life, the intimate nature 
of the social bond, the problems arising out of the bare fact that 
distinct personalities form a social whole. On this side then he 
is in line with contemporary enquirers into those broad sociological 
principles which are independent of time and place. He has been 
and is laying down the lines of a general sociology. On the 
other side political thought has been closely associated with moral 
philosophy. For political thinkers have not merely sought to 
determine what society is, but have pretty uniformly conceived their 
analysis as having at least an important bearing on the question, 
what it ought to be. On the face of the facts these are two very 
distinct questions, and if there is any ultimate sense in which they 
are one that sense is only reached by a long philosophical analysis 
which not all will follow. But without such analysis many people 
confuse them or at least pass from the one to the other without 
sufficiently clear consciousness of the step that they are taking. 
It may be that some schools of political philosophy have fused, 
if they have not confused, these two questions. Be that as it 
may, sociological thinking must start with a clear cut distinction 



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EDITORIAL 5 

between the ** is " and the ** ought," between the facts of social 
life and the conditions on which society actually rests and the 
ideal to which society should conform. If indeed it finds that any 
element of the ideal enters into the facts or the conditions, that is 
matter of fact, capable of proof or disproof. But it must hold in 
full clearness from the outset that the question of fact is one 
thing and the question of right and wrong another. An ideal 
is not proved to be an actual condition of social life because it is 
an ideal nor is a factor in the actual life of society to be identified 
with a moral law merely because it is proved to be a factor. The 
'' laws " of Political Economy are not as the old jest has it 
laws to be ** obeyed,*' but statements of certain relations of cause 
and effect to be taken into account by anyone who wishes to 
achieve certain economic results; and so with any other ** laws '* 
of Sociology. 

Political Philosophy if this view is correct, has concerned itself 
with two questions which in thought are quite distinct. The first 
of these questions concerns the general conditions of social life; 
the second is the problem of Moral Philosophy. It may be asked 
whether this latter problem is properly the concern of Sociology at 
all. Sociology, it may be said, is a science, and science is to be 
understood in a more limited sense than that given above. A 
science deals with facts and the interconnection of facts. It dis- 
covers laws and makes predictions. Hence it tells us what has 
been, what is, and what will be, but it has no concern with what 
ought to be. Not that social science leaves ethics out of account. 
There is the science of Comparative Ethics which tells what men 
have thought and think about right and wrong. It may even help 
us to forecast what they are likely to think about right and wrong, 
but it does not profess to say what they ought to think about 
right and wrong. If this is a question which can be determined at 
all it belongs to Philosophy and not to science. Sociology as a 
science then, it may be said, has no concern with the right and 
wrong of human conduct, or with the good and bad of social 
life, but only with the nature and conditions of the social structure 
and the observable laws of its growth and decay. 

But the very terms of the protest show how impossible it is 
to keep Sociology — especially the broader investigations of general 
Sociology — in permanent separation from all ethical considera- 
tions. On the one side if right conduct is truly social conduct the 
results of sociology cannot be indifferent to the moral philosopher. 
We said above, that to discover one of the conditions of human 



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6 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

association is not all one with discovering an element in the 
ethical ideal. But there are circumstances in which the two come 
very nearly to the same thing. For if the condition is a vital and 
unalterable condition of social life, if science proves that the social 
life cannot subsist without it, and if moral philosophy regards 
the maintenance of the social life as a necessary part of its 
ideal then the scientific truth is at once translateable into a moral 
command. The deliverance of science and the deliverance of 
moral philosophy on the subject are still distinct. The one states 
a fact and the other lays down an injunction. But the fact 
and the injunction issue from two sides, if the phrase be allowed, 
of the same human consciousness in relation to the same 
human data.' More generally, those who take seriously the social 
side of Ethics look forward to the gradual formation of an Applied 
Ethics which will stand in much closer relation to life than the 
disputations of the schools, that is in effect to an Art which, 
resting on Moral Philosophy as its theoretical foundation, would 
use the results of the social sciences as Medicine uses those of 
Physiology. The widest conception of Sociology then — ^and how- 
ever individual thinkers may differ, it is the widest conception that 
should shape the policy of a review — ^takes the subject as embrac- 
ing not only a Science, but a Philosophy and an Art, as dealing 
not only with the facts and conditions of social life, but with 
its ideals, and the means of their realisation. 

Indeed, if Sociology as a science of facts and conditions is 
important to Ethics ,it may equally be argued that Ethics cannot be 
indifferent to a student of Sociology. For what aftier all is the 
material of Sociology ? It is the kind of common life achieved by 
human beings, beings that is to say moved by impulses and 
purposes. The interplay of purpose we may say, is to Sociology 
what mass and motion are to physics or the metabolism of cellular 
tissue to Biology. Doubtless there are conditions, physical condi- 
tions, biological conditions, for example, which come cramping in, 
hedging round the play of purpose, sometimes determining its 
direction, sometimes twisting its result. But the distinctive feature 
of our subject matter, the feature that makes Sociology a distinct 
science is the web of purpose wherein men act on one another 
and react on the conditions that make them. But purpose and 
the relations of purpose also constitute the subject of the ethical 
judgment. Ethics and social science have, generically, the same 
subject matter and though they regard it from different points of 
view yet as every sociologist is also a man he cannot, so to say, 



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EDITORIAL 7 

wholly divest himself of the one kind of consciousness in putting 
on the other. Nor is it desirable that he should do so. The 
Ethical judgment is scientifically by far the most important judg- 
ment which has to be passed on human purposes. For we cannot 
ask any more vital questions about purposes than how far they 
attain their ends, whence our fundamental question about the 
interaction of distinct purposes and the purposes of separate per- 
sonalities is how far they tend to frustrate or to further one another, 
how they conflict or harmonise. But to raise this question is 
at once to revert to the old ethical problem of the individual and 
the common good. And any answer that we give to this question, 
that is as much as to say any deep-reaching definitions, classifica- 
tions, any conception of growth, development or decay in human 
society will consciously or unconsciously be framed in terms of 
our conception of the common good. It is better for the sake of 
clearness that it be done consciously, and accordingly our most 
purely ** scientific " work in Sociology is likely to be done best, 
if we have in mind an articulate system of clear cut ethical con- 
ceptions. 

Even were it otherwise, were the scientific, the philosophic, and 
the practical sides of sociological work separate in essence rather 
than distinct in thought, a Review which seeks to offer common 
ground for sociological workers to meet upon could hardly neglect 
the speculative or the practical approach to the subject. Its con- 
ductors would have to realise that a subject which is treated by 
some as a science in the more limited sense of that term, is, and 
has been, approached by others from the speculative and by still 
more from the human and practical point of view. They would 
have to take these points of view into account and to bear in 
mind, among other things, that the ** practical " interest in 
Sociology has often taken, and seems more and more likely to take 
shape in the form of experiments in verification of hypotheses, 
experiments which the most precisely limited science cannot ignore. 
So what a Review has to ask is that the sociological interest, 
whether practical or theoretical, should be ** scientific " in the 
broad sense here given to that term, that to find expression in these 
pages it should be prompted by an unprejudiced desire for truth, 
rendered in measured accuracy of expression, and be such as to 
assist in the systematic following up of interconnected facts. 

So far we have spoken of General Sociology ^nd have seen 
reasons for giving the term for our purposes a wide interpretation. 
But the advance of Sociology in recent years has been more marked 



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8 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

in the growth of special sciences than in the fresh development of 
fundamental ideas. Indeed sociology as a general discipline has 
been sometimes threatened with destruction at the hands of its 
own offspring. It tends to be dispersed and disappear into a 
number of specialisms. In place of sociology we have social 
sciences and the question of urgency for sociology is whether 
they are to develop independently each on its own lines or are to 
be kept in touch with one another and with the fertilising principle 
of social unity by means of a general study of Sociology. 

The division of Sociology into special sciences is in itself only 
in accordance with the normal conditions of scientific growth. So 
vastly complex a whole as Social Life cannot be studied for long 
without a division of labour, and as soon as certain elements can 
be distinguished, certain fields of work marked out in prima facie 
distinctness from the remainder, economy suggests a concentration 
of different minds on each of these in turn. The selection is 
justified and the economy is real on two conditions, (i) There 
must be real cohesion of certain social phenomena which brings 
them closer to one another than they are to other sides of social 
life, and (2) since society is after all one, and no portion of its 
life can be really divorced from the remainder, the specialist should 
be ready at every stage to take into account the influence in his 
own sphere of forces emanating from some other part of the field. 
It is on this side that the natural limitations of specialism are 
often the cause of confusion of voices, stagnation in discovery, 
and positive errors in the practical guidance of affairs — and this 
not in Sociology alone. It is here that the function of General 
Sociology becomes all important. Properly considered General 
Sociology is neither a separate science complete in itself before 
specialism begins, nor is it a mere synthesis of the social sciences 
consisting in a mechanical juxtaposition of their results. It is 
rather a vitalising principle that runs through all social investiga- 
tion nourishing and nourished by it in turn, stimulating inquiry, 
correlating results, exhibiting the life of the whole in the parts 
and returning from the study of the parts to a fuller comprehen- 
sion of the whole. We cannot indeed attempt any reasoned dis- 
tribution of social functions among separate sciences without being 
struck by the unsubstantial nature of our divisions. We may think 
of Society first as a Structure and consider its constitution, the main 
groups of which it is composed, the mode of government by which 
it is held together, the nature of its relation to other societies. 
We see here foundations for the study of the Family, the Class, 



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EDITORIAL 9 

the Tribe, the Nation ; for the Science of Government ; or for the 
study of International Law. We may turn to the Directive Con- 
ceptions and Institutions which condition the life of society, and 
distinguish law, ethics, religion; industrial organisation; science 
and philosophy; literature and art. The systematic treatment of 
any of these is on one side a sociological investigation, and each 
in turn may be subdivided into further specialisms. We may 
enquire into the concrete facts of society, the actual life of a 
people as affecting and affected by the constitution and the 
directive institutions of the social structure, and then we obtain 
demographical investigations of the life conditions of the social 
classes, and of the distribution of personal qualities among groups. 
In any or all of these departments a science may be ** Descriptive," 
limited to a straight-forward account of the facts of a given time 
and place; it may be Analytical, resolving complex effects into 
elementary principles, causes, or conditions; and it may be Com- 
parative bringing phenomena of different societies into relation 
with one another and seeking through comparison and classifica- 
tion to discover lines of growth. But we can no sooner make 
these or any similar divisions of the possible field of sociology 
than we become aware of forces that pass over all our boun- 
daries. What can we know of the nature, say, of the family and 
of the various forms which it has assumed without taking some 
account of general ethics, of religion, law, and even of industrial 
and governmental organisation? How far could we carry a 
treatise on government without law, or on law without reference 
to religion and ethics, and what mountains of specialism we must 
raise between our eyes and the facts before we could fail to see 
the interaction of any one of these with the contemporary state 
of science and philosophy, of literature and art. We may carry 
specialism further in one field than in another according as the 
facts are more or less closely knit but whenever we take one side 
of social life, be it the economic, the religious, or any other, and 
treat it as though it stood alone we are on the road to fallacy. 

It is not the function of a sociological journal to produce a 
ready made scheme of Sociology. But it is its function to assist 
in the work which General Sociology has to do, in bringing the 
work of specialists together and in affording facilities for the 
discussion of the broad sociological bearing of each specialistic 
investigation. It should aid in familiarising the Economist with 
the conclusions of Comparative Jurisprudence or with the philo- 
sophic analysis of society; the historian of thought with the 



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10 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

facts of industrial and political development; the investigators 
of contemporary social conditions with the earlier phases of social 
life; and all students of society with the best that is known or 
thought of the bearings of Biology and Psychology on their 
own investigations. At the same time it will afford them collec- 
tively the opportunity of defending the study of society from 
aggressions which would destroy its character as a distinct science 
or from usurpations which would merge it in the work of one 
of its own departments. It must give a fair field and no favour 
to the practical interest in Sociology. Needless to say it will 
approach questions of living interest without party bias, but it will 
be among its prime objects to show that even questions of the 
day, like questions of 3,000 years ago, can be approached in a 
scientific spirit with a disinterested desire to find out the truth 
about them.* 

It may be objected that the Review would on these lines become 
an organ of all the specialisms, an attempt which considerations 
of print and paper forbid. But this is once again to misapprehend 
the position of Sociology. It does not lie within our province 
to cater for the detailed investigations of the recognised specialist. 
We invite him rather to discuss his principles and broad results 
with representatives of other specialisms and in the presence of those 
interested in Sociology at large. 

We seek to touch each specialism at the point where it comes 
in contact with General Sociology. In each department there are 
matters of little interest except to those far advanced in that 
branch — matters of controversy on which the specialist alone can 
decide, investigations of detail of which he alone can see the 
bearing. The natural home for discussion of such points is the 
journal of the specialism. But there are also in each branch 
matters of general interest, results of importance to other inves- 
tigators, controversies in which a material part of the evidence 
falls within the competence of another department, and of these 
the natural home is the journal for sociologists in general. Thus, 

* By restricting the term science to its narrower sense of an inquiry into facts as 
opposed to ideals we may make the result of the discussion clear by a systematic 
vrangement. Thus : 

Sociology 



Sociology as Science Moral Philosophy 



G^eneral Special 



Applied Social Ethics. 



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EDITORIAL XX 

Economics is logically a branch of Sociology and every economic 
truth is a sociological truth. But there are economic investigations 
which would be best suited to the Economic Journal, and others — 
such as touch most nearly the general life of the people — that 
would find an appropriate place in the Sociological Review. 

We shall, therefore, welcome contributions alike from the philo- 
sopher and the specialist, from the comparative sciences which 
search the whole human record for their data, and from the 
detailed study of contemporary tendencies. We shall hope to show 
that in the study of social evolution the organisation of a mediaeval 
city, or the genesis of an Oriental religion have their place along- 
side of the analysis of contemporary institutions. We hope to 
show at the same time that the problems of the day are just as 
much objects of science as any period of past history or any phase 
of primitive life. To the sociologist ** nothing that is human is 
foreign." Not that such scattered fragments of Sociology are 
of real value for the science till they are brought or rather till 
they grow together. On the contrary it is one of the functions 
of Sociological criticism to prevent the crude use of fragments of 
history and of empirical generalisation from isolated cases. But 
the main problem of Sociology at the present day is to build 
up the great Comparative Science which alone can put the theory 
of social evolution on a firm basis. To form by a philosophic 
analysis a just conception of human progress, and trace this progress 
in its manifold complexity in the course of history, to test its reality 
by careful classification and searching comparisons, to ascertain 
its conditions, and if possible to forecast its future — this is the 
comprehensive problem towards which all sociological science con- 
verges and on the solution of which reasoned sociological effort 
must finally depend. In the light of this conception everything 
that concerns human development acquires value and all socio- 
logical work achieves unity. The comparative study of law, of 
government and the social fabric ; the history of science and philo- 
sophy, of art and literature ; the study of the ethical and religious 
consciousness in their manifold phases; the story of the industrial 
arts and the gradual conquest of nature, all these have their 
sociological side. All contribute to the general enquiry into the 
nature, conditions, and possibilities of human progress and to 
understand their contributions is the work of sociology. 

L. T. HOBHOUSE. 



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X2 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 



SUICIDE : A CHAPTER IN COMPARATIVE ETHICS.* 

Suicide, or intentional self-destruction, has often been represented 
as a fruit of a higher civilisation; Dr. Steinmetz, on the other 
hand, in his essay on * Suicide among Primitive Peoples,' thinks 
it probable that "there is a greater propensity to suicide among 
savage than among civilised peoples." The former view is ob- 
viously erroneous ; the latter probably holds good of certain savages 
as compared with certain peoples of culture, but cannot claim 
general validity. 

Among several uncivilised races suicide is said to be unknown. 
To these belong some of the lower savages — the Yahgans of Tierra 
del Fuego, the Andaman Islanders, and various Australian tribes; 
whilst as regards most other tribes at about the same stage of 
culture information seems to be wanting. Of the natives in 
Western and Central Australia Sir G. Grey writes, ** Whenever 
I have interrogated them on this point, they have invariably 
laughed at me, and treated my question as a joke." When a 
Caroline Islander was told of suicides committed by Europeans, 
he thought that he had not grasped what was said to him, as 
he never in his life had heard of anything so ridiculous. The 
Kdfirs of the Hindu-Kush, though they have no intense fear of 
death, cannot understand suicide; *' the idea of a man killing 
himself strikes them as inexplicable." 

Among many savages and barbarians suicide is stated to be 
very rare, or to occur only occasionally; whereas among others 
it is represented as either common or extremely prevalent. Of 
the Kamchadales we are told that the least apprehension of danger 
drives them to despair, and that they fly to suicide as a relief, 
not only from present, but even from imaginary evil; ** not 
only those who are confined for some offence, but such as are 
discontented with their lot, prefer a voluntary death to an uneasy 
life, and the pains of disease." Among the Hos, an Indian hill 
tribe, suicide is reported to be so frightfully prevalent as to 
afford no parallel in any known country: — ** If a girl appears 
mortified by anything that has been said, it is not safe to let 
her go away till she is soothed. A reflection on a man's honesty 

* Owing tooonBiderationsof space, footnotes, in which the authorities for the state- 
ments in the following article were fully given, have been omitted. 



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SUICIDE 13 

or veracity may be sufficient to send him to self-destruction. In 
a recent case, a young woman attempted to poison herself because 
her uncle would not partake of the food she had cooked for him." 
Among the Karens of Burma suicide is likewise very common 
where Christianity has not been introduced. If a man has some 
incurable or painful disease, he says in a matter-of-fact way that 
he will hang himself, and he does as he says; if a girl's parents 
compel her to marry the man she does not love, she hangs herself ; 
wives sometimes hang themselves through jealousy, sometimes 
because they quarrel with their husbands, and sometimes out of 
mere chagrin, because they are subject to depreciating com- 
parisons; and it is a favourite threat with a wife or daughter, 
when not allowed to have her own way, that she will hang 
herself. Among some uncivilised peoples suicide is frequently 
practised by women, though rarely by men. 

The causes which, among savages, lead to suicide are mani- 
fold : — disappointed love or jealousy ; illness or old age; grief over 
the death of a child, a husband, or a wife; fear of punishment; 
slavery or brutal treatment by a husband; remorse, shame or 
wounded pride, anger or revenge. In various cases an offended 
person kills himself for the express purpose of taking revenge 
upon the oflFender. Thus among the Tshi-speaking peoples of 
the Gold Coast, ** should a person commit suicide, and before 
so doing attribute the act to the conduct of another person, that 
other person is required by native law to undergo a like fate. 
The practice is termed * killing oneself upon the head of another,' 
and the person whose conduct is supposed to have driven the 
suicide to commit the rash act is visited with a death of an exactly 
similar nature " — unless, indeed, the family of the suicide be 
pacified with a money compensation. With reference to the 
Savage Islanders, who especially in heathen times were much 
addicted to suicide, we are told that, ** like angry children, they 
are tempted to avenge themselves by picturing the trouble that 
they will bring upon the friends who have offended them." 
Among the Thlinkets an offended person who is unable to take 
revenge in any other way commits suicide in order to expose the 
person who gave the offence to the vengeance of his surviving 
relatives and friends. Among the Chuvashes it was formerly the 
custom for enraged persons to hang themselves at the doors of 
their enemies. A similar method of taking revenge is still not 
infrequently resorted to by the Votyaks, who believe that the 
ghost of the deceased will then persecute the offender. Sometimes 



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14 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

a suicide has the character of a human sacrifice. In the times of 
epidemics or great calamities the Chukchi sacrifice their own 
lives in order to appease evil spirits and the souls of departed 
relatives. Among some savages it is common for a woman, 
especially if married to a man of importance, to commit suicide 
on the death of her husband, or to demand to be buried with him ; 
and many Brazilian Indians kill themselves on the graves of their 
chiefs. 

In various other cases, besides the voluntary sacrifices of 
widows or slaves, the suicides of savages are connected with their 
notions of a future life. The belief in the new human birth of 
the departed soul has led West African negroes to take their 
own lives when in distant slavery, that they may awaken in their 
native land. Among the Chukchi there are persons who kill 
themselves for the purpose of effecting an earlier reunion with their 
deceased relatives. Among the Samoyedes it happens that a 
young girl who is sold to an old man strangles herself in the 
hope of getting a more suitable bridegroom in the other world. 
We are told that the Kamchadales inflict death on themselves 
with the utmost coolness because they maintain that ** the future 
life is a continuation of the present, but much better and more 
perfect, where they expect to have all their desires more completely 
satisfied than here." The suicides of old people, again, are in 
some cases due to the belief that a man enters into the other world in 
the same condition in which he left this one, and that it conse- 
quently is best for him to die before he grows too old and feeble. 

The notions of savages concerning life after death also influence 
their moral valuation of suicide. Where men are supposed to 
require wives not only during their lifetime, but after their death, 
it may be a praiseworthy thing, or even a duty, for a widow to 
accompany her husband to the land of souls. According to 
Fijian beliefs, the woman who at the funeral of her husband met 
death with the greatest devotedness would become the favourite 
wife in the abode of spirits, whereas a widow who did not permit 
herself to be killed was considered an adulteress. Among the 
Central African Bairo those women who refrained from destroying 
themselves over their husbands' graves were regarded as outcasts. 
On the Gold Coast a man of low rank who has married one of 
the king's sisters is expected to make away with himself when 
his wife dies, or upon the death of an only male child; and 
** should he outrage native custom and neglect to do so, a hint 
is conveyed to him that he will be put to death, which usually 



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SUICIDE IS 

produces the desired eflfect." The customary suicides of the 
Chukchi are solemnly performed in the presence and with the 
assistance of relatives and neighbours. The Samoyedes maintain 
that suicide by strangulation ** is pleasing to God, who looks 
upon it as a voluntary sacrifice, which deserves reward." The 
opinion of the Kamchadales that it is ''allowable and praise- 
worthy" for a man to take his own life, was probably connected 
with their optimistic notions about their fate after death. And 
that the habitual suicides of old persons have the sanction of 
public opinion is particularly obvious where they may choose 
between killing themselves and being killed. 

Whilst in some cases suicide opens the door to a happy land 
beyond the grave, it in other cases entails consequences of a very 
different kind. The Omahas believe that a self-murderer ceases to 
exist. According to the Thompson Indians in British Columbia, 
** the souls of people who commit suicide do not go to the land 
of souls. The shamans declare they never saw such people there ; 
and some say that they have looked for the souls of such people, 
but could not find their tracks. Some shamans say they cannot 
locate the place where the souls of suicides go, but they think 
they must be lost, because they seem to disappear altogether. 
Others say that these souls die, and cease to exist. Still others 
claim that the souls never leave the earth, but wander around 
aimlessly." So also the Jakuts believe that the ghost of a self- 
murderer never comes to rest. Sometimes the fate of suicides 
after death is represented as a punishment which they suffer for 
their deed. Thus the Dacotahs, among whom women not infre- 
quently put an end to their existence by hanging themselves, are 
of opinion that suicide is displeasing to the ** Father of Life," 
and will be punished in the land of spirits by the ghost being 
doomed for ever to drag the tree on which the person hanged 
herself; hence the women always suspend themselves to as 
small a tree as can possibly sustain their weight. The 
Pahdrias of the Rdjmahal Hills, in India, say that *' suicide is a 
crime in God's eyes," and that ** the soul of one who so offends 
shall not be admitted into heaven, but must hover eternally as 
a ghost between heaven and earth." The Kayans of Borneo main- 
tain that self-murderers are sent to a place called Tan Tekkan, 
where they will be very poor and wretched, subsisting on leaves, 
roots, or anything they can pick up in the forests, and being 
easily distinguished by their miserable appearance. According to 
Dyak beliefs, they go to a special place, where those who have 



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16 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

drowned themselves must henceforth live up to their waists in 
water, and those who have poisoned themselves must live in houses 
built of poisonous woods and surrounded by noxious plants, the 
exhalations of which are painful to the spirits. In other instances 
we are simply told that the souls of suicides, together with those 
of persons who have been killed in war, or who have died a violent 
death, are not permitted to live with the rest of the souls, to 
whom their presence would cause uneasiness. Among the Hidatsa 
Indians some people say that the ghosts of men who have made 
away with themselves occupy a separate part of the village of 
the dead, but that their condition in no other wise differs from that 
of the other ghosts. 

It is, however, hard to believe that the fate of the self-murderer, 
whether it be annihilation, a vagrant existence on earth, or separa- 
tion in the other world, was originally meant as a punishment; 
for a similar lot is assigned to the souls of persons who have been 
drowned, or who have died by accident or violence. It seems 
that the suicide's future state is in the first place supposed to 
depend upon the treatment of his corpse. Frequently he is denied 
burial, or at least the ordinary funeral rites, and this may give rise 
to the notion that his soul never comes to rest or, possibly, even 
ceases to exist. Or he is buried by himself, apart from the other 
dead, in which case his soul must naturally remain equally isolated. 
Among the Alabama Indians, for instance, ** when a man kills 
himself either in despair or in a sickness, he is deprived of burial, 
and thrown into the river.'* In Dahomey ** the body of any 
person committing suicide is not allowed to be buried, but thrown 
out into the fields to be destroyed by wild beasts." Among the 
Fantis of the Gold Coast ** il y a des places r^serv^es aux suicides 
et k ceux qui sont morts de la petite v^role. lis sont enterr^s k 
r^cart loin de toute habitation et de tout chemin public." In the 
Pelew Islands a self-murderer is buried not with his own deceased 
relatives, but in the place where he ended his life, as are also 
the corpses of those who fall in war. Among the Bannavs of 
Cambodia ** anyone who perishes by his own hand is buried in 
a corner of the forest far from the graves of his brethren." Among 
the Sea Dyaks ** those who commit suicide are buried in diflFerent 
places from others, as it is supposed that they will not be allowed 
to mix in the seven-storied heaven with such of their fellow- 
countrymen as come by their death in a natural manner or from 
the influence of the spirits." The motive for thus treating self- 
murderers' bodies is superstitious fear. Their ghosts, as the 



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SUICIDE X7 

ghosts of persons who have died by any other violent means or 
by accident, are supposed to be particularly malevolent, owing to 
their unnatural mode of death or to the desperate or angry state 
of mind in which they left this life. If they are not buried at all, 
or if they are buried in the spot where they died or in a separate 
place, that is either because nobody dares to interfere with them, 
or in order to prevent them from mixing with the other dead. So 
also murdered persons are sometimes left unburied, and people 
who are supposed to have been killed by evil spirits are buried 
apart; whilst those struck with lightning are either denied inter- 
ment, or buried where they fell and in the position in which they 
died. We sometimes hear of a connection between the way in 
which a suicide's body is treated and the moral opinion as regards 
his deed. Among the Alabama Indians his corpse is said to be 
thrown into the river ** because he is looked upon as a coward " ; 
and of the Ossetes M. Kovalewsky states that they bury suicides 
far away from other dead persons because they regard their act 
as sinful. But we may be sure that moral condemnation is not 
the original cause of these practices. 

It is comparatively seldom that savages are reported to attach 
any stigma to suicide. To the instances mentioned above a few 
others may be added. The Waganda, we are told, greatly con- 
demn the act. Among the Bogos ** a man never despairs, never 
gives himself up, and considers suicide as the greatest indignity." 
The Karens of Burma deem it an act of cowardice; but at the 
same time they have no command against it, they ** seem to see 
little or no guilt in it," and '' we are nowhere told that it is 
displeasing to the God of heaven and earth." The Dacotahs said 
of a girl who had destroyed herself because her parents had 
turned her beloved from the wigwam, and would force her to marry 
a man she hated, that her spirit did not watch over her earthly 
remains, being offended when she brought trouble upon her aged 
mother and father. In Dahomey "it is criminal to attempt to 
commit suicide, because every man is the property of the king. 
The bodies of suicides are exposed to public execration, and Che 
head is always struck o£f and sent to Agbomi; at the expense of 
the family if the suicide were a free man, at that of his master 
if he were a slave." On the other hand, it is expressly stated of 
various savages that they do not punish attempts to commit suicide. 
The negroes of Accra see nothing wrong in the act. ** Why," 
they would ask, '' should a person not be allowed to die, when 
he no longer desires to live?" But they inflict cruel punishments 



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x8 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

upon slaves who try to put an end to themselves, in order to deter 
other slaves from doing the same. Among the Pelew Islanders 
suicide ** is neither praised nor blamed.*' The Eskimo around 
Northumberland Inlet and Davis Strait believe that anyone who 
has been killed by accident, or who has taken his own life, certainly 
goes to the happy place after death. The Chippewas hold suicide 
" to be a foolish, not a reprehensible action," and do not believe 
it to entail any punishment in the other world. In his sketches 
of the manners and customs of the North American Indians, 
Buchanan writes : — ** Suicide is not considered by the Indians either 
as an act of heroism or of cowardice, nor is it with them a subject 
of praise or blame. They view this desperate act as the conse- 
quence of mental derangement, and the person who destroys 
himself is to them an object of pity." 

From the opinions on suicide held by uncivilised races we shall 
pass to those prevalent among peoples of a higher culture. In 
China suicide is extremely common among all classes and among 
persons of all ages. For those who have been impelled to this 
course by a sense of honour the gates of heaven open wide, and 
tablets bearing their names are erected in the temples in honour 
of virtuous men or women. As honourable self-murderers are 
regarded servants or officers of state who choose not to survive a 
defeat in battle or an insult o£fered to the sovereign of their country ; 
young men who, when an insult has been paid to their parents 
which they are unable to avenge, prefer not to survive it; and 
women who kill themselves on the death of their husbands or 
fiancis. In spite of imperial prohibitions, sutteeism of widowed 
wives and brides has continued to flourish in China down to this 
day, and meets with the same public applause as ever ; whilst those 
widowed wives and brides who have lost their lives in preserving 
their chastity, are entitled both to an honorary gate and to a place 
in a temple of the State as an object of worship. Another common 
form of suicide which is admired as heroic in China is that 
committed for the purpose of taking revenge upon an enemy who 
is otherwise out of reach — according to Chinese ideas a most 
effective mode of revenge, not only because the law throws the 
responsibility of the deed on him who occasioned it, but also 
because the disembodied soul is supposed to be better able than the 
living man to persecute the enemy. The Chinese have a firm 
belief in the wandering spirits of persons who have died by vio- 
lence ; thus self-murderers are supposed to haunt the places where 
they committed the fatal deed and endeavour to persuade others to 



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SUICIDE X9 

follow their example, at times even attempting to play executioner 
by strangling those who reject their advances. ** Violent deaths," 
says Mr. Giles, ** are regarded with horror by the Chinese"; 
and suicides committed from meaner motives are reprobated. It 
is said in the Yii Li, or ** Divine Panorama " — ^a Taouist work 
which is very popular all over the Chinese Empire — that whilst 
persons who kill themselves out of loyalty, filial piety, chastity, 
or friendship, will go to heaven, those who do so ''in a trivial 
burst of rage, or fearing the consequences of a crime which would 
not amount to death, or in the hope of falsely injuring a fellow- 
creature," will be severely punished in the infernal regions. 
No pardon will be granted them ; they are not, like other sinners, 
allowed to claim their good works as a set-off against evil, whereby 
they might partly escape the agonies of hell and receive some 
reward for their virtuous deeds. Sometimes suicide is classified 
by the Chinese as an offence against religion, on the ground that 
a person owes his being to Heaven, and is therefore responsible 
to Heaven for due care of the gift. 

** The Japanese calendar of saints," says Mr. Griflfis, " is not 
filled with reformers, alms-givers, and founders of hospitals or 
orphanages, but is overcrowded with canonised suicides and com- 
mitters of harakiri. Even to-day, no man more . . . surely draws 
homage to his tomb, securing even apotheosis, than the suicide, 
though he may have committed a crime." There were two kinds 
of harakiri, or '* belly-cutting," one obligatory and the other 
voluntary. The former was a boon granted by government, who 
graciously permitted criminals of the Samurai, or military, class 
thus to destroy themselves intead of being handed over to the 
common executioner; but this custom is now quite extinct. Vol- 
untary harakiri, again, was practised out of loyalty to a dead 
superior, or in order to protest, when other protests might be 
unavailing, against the erroneous conduct of a living superior, or 
to avoid beheading by the enemy in a lost battle, or to restore 
injured honour if revenge was impossible. Under any circum- 
stances harakiri cleansed from every stain, and ensured an honour- 
able interment and a respected memory. It is said in a Japanese 
manuscript, " To slay his enemy against whom he has cause of 
hatred, and then to kill himself, is the part of a noble Samurai, 
and it is sheer nonsense to look upon the place where he has 
disembowelled himself as polluted." In old days the ceremony 
used to be performed in a temple. 

Among the Hindus we meet with the practice of self-immolation 



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20 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

of widows — until recently very prevalent in many parts of India 
— ^and various forms of self-destruction for religious purposes. 
Suicide has always been considered by the Hindus to be one of 
the most acceptable rites that can be offered to their deities. 
According to the Ayen Akbery, there were five kinds of suicide 
held to be meritorious in the Hindu, namely : — starving; covering 
himself with cow-dung and setting it on fire and consuming himself 
therein ; burying himself in snow ; immersing himself in the water 
at the extremity of Bengal, where the Ganges discharges itself into 
the sea through a thousand channels, enumerating his sins, and 
praying till the alligators came and devoured him; cutting his throat 
at Allahabad, at the confluence of the Ganges and Jumna. To 
these might be added drowning at Hurdwar, Allahabad, and 
Saugor; perishing in the cold of the Himalayas; the practice of 
dying under the wheels of Juggurnath's car; and the custom of 
men throwing themselves down from certain rocks to fulfil the 
vows of their mothers, or to receive forgiveness for sins, or to 
be re-born rajas in their next state of transmigration. It is also 
common for persons who are afflicted with leprosy or any other 
incurable disease to bury or drown themselves with due ceremonies^ 
by which they are considered acceptable sacrifices to the deity, 
or to roll themselves into fires with the notion that thus purified 
they will receive a happy transmigration into a healthy body.. 
Suicide was further resorted to by Br&hmans for the purpose of 
avenging an injury, as it was believed that the ghost of the 
deceased would persecute the offender, and, presumably, also 
because of the great efficacy which was attributed to the curse of a 
dying Br&hman. When one of the Rajput rajas once levied a 
war-subsidy on the Br&hmans, some of the wealthiest, having 
expostulated in vain, poniarded themselves in his presence, pour* 
ing maledictions on his head with their last breath ; and thus cursed 
the raja laboured under a ban of excommunication even amongst 
his personal friends. We are told of a Br&hman girl who, having 
been seduced by a certain raja, burned herself to death, and in 
dying imprecated the most fearful curses on the raja*s kindred, 
after which they were visited with such a succession of disasters 
that they abandoned their family settlement at Baliya, where the 
woman's tomb is worshipped to this day. Once when a raja 
ordered the house of a Br&hman to be demolished and resumed 
the lands which had been conferred upon him, the latter fasted 
till he died at the palace gate, and became thus a Brahm, or 
malignant Brdhman ghost, who avenged the injury he had suffered 



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SUICIDE 21 

by destroying the raja and his house. At Azimghur, in 1835, a 
Br&hman ** threw himself down a well, that his ghost might haunt 
bis neighbour.** Thesame idea undoubtedly underlies the custom of 
"sitting dharna," which was practised by creditors who sat down 
before the doors of their debtors threatening to starve themselves to 
death if their claims were not paid ; and the sin attached to causing 
the death of a Brfthman would further increase the efficacy of the 
creditor's threats. At the same time religious suicide is said to 
be a crime in a Br&hman. And in the sacred books we read that 
for him who destroys himself by means of wood, water, clods of 
earth, stones, weapons, poison, or a rope, no funeral rites shall 
be performed by bis relatives; that he who resolves to die by his 
own hand shall fast for three days; and that he who attempts 
suicide, but remains alive, shall perform severe penance. The 
Buddhists allow a man under certain circumstances to take his own 
life, but maintain that generally dire miseries are in store for 
the self-murderer, and look upon him as one who must have sinned 
deeply in a former state of existence. It should be added that 
in India, as elsewhere, the souls of those who have killed them- 
selves or met death by any other violent means are regarded as 
particularly malevolent and troublesome. 

The Old Testament mentions a few cases of suicide. In none 
of them is any censure passed on the perpetrator of the deed, nor 
is there any text which expressly forbids a man to die by his own 
hand; and of Ahithophel it is said that he was buried in the 
sepulchre of his father. It seems, however, that according to 
Jewish custom persons who had killed themselves should be left 
unburied till sunset, perhaps for fear lest the spirit of the deceased 
otherwise might find its way back to the old home. Josephus, 
who mentions this custom, denounces suicide as an act of 
cowardice, as a crime most remote from the common nature of 
all animals, as impiety against the Creator ; and he maintains that 
the souls of those who have thus acted madly against themselves 
will go to the darkest place in Hades. The Talmud considers 
suicide justifiable, if not meritorious, in the case of the chief of a 
vanquished army who is sure of disgrace and death at the hands 
of the exulting conqueror, or when a person has reason to fear 
being forced to renounce his religion. In all other circumstances 
the Rabbis consider it criminal for a person to shorten his own 
life, even when he is undergoing tortures which must soon end 
his earthly career; and they forbid all marks of mourning for a 
self-murderer, such as wearing sombre apparel and eulogising him. 



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22 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

Islam prohibits suicide, as an act which interferes with the decrees 
of God. Muhammedans say that it is a greater sin for a person 
to kill himself than to kill a fellow-man ; and, as a matter of fact, 
suicide is very rare in the Moslem world. 

Ancient Greece had its honourable suicides. The Milesian 
and Corinthian women, who by a voluntary death escaped from 
falling into the hands of the enemy, were praised in epigrams. 
The story that Themistocles preferred death to bearing arms 
against his native country were circulated with a view to doing 
honour to his memory. The tragedians frequently give expression 
to the idea that suicide is in certain circumstances becoming to 
a noble mind. Hecuba blames Helena for not putting an end 
to her life by a rope or a sword. Phaedra and Leda kill themselves 
out of shame, Haemon from violent remorse. Ajax decides to die 
after having in vain attempted to kill the Atreidae, maintaining 
that ** one of generous strain should nobly live, or forthwith nobly 
die." Instances are, moreover, mentioned of women killing them- 
selves on the death of their husbands; and in Cheos it was the 
custom to prevent the decrepitude of old age by a voluntary death. 
At Athens the right hand of a person who had taken his own 
life was struck off and buried apart from the rest of the body, 
evidently in order to make him harmless after death. Plato says 
in his ** Laws,*' probably in agreement with Attic custom, that 
those who inflict death upon themselves ** from sloth or want of 
manliness," shall be buried alone in such places as are uncultivated 
and nameless, and that no column or inscription shall mark the 
spot where they are interred. At Thebes self-murderers were 
deprived of the accustomed funeral ceremonies, and in Cyprus they 
were left unburied. The objections which philosophers raised 
against the commission of suicide were no doubt to some extent 
shared by popular sentiments. Pythagoras is represented as 
saying that we should not abandon our station in life without the 
orders of our commander, that is, God. According to the Platonic 
Socrates, the gods are our guardians and we are a possession of 
theirs, hence ** there may be reason in saying that a man should 
wait, and not take his own life until God summons him." Aris- 
totle, again, maintains that he who from rage kills himself commits 
a wrong against the State, and that therefore the State punishes 
him and civil infamy is attached to him. The religious argument 
could not be foreign to a people who regarded it as impious inter- 
ference in the order of nature to make a bridge over the Hellespont 
and to separate a landscape from the continent ; and the idea that 



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SUICIDE as 

suicide is a matter of public concern evidently prevailed in Massilia, 
where no man was allowed to make away with himself unless the 
magistrates had given him permission to do so. But the opinions 
of the philosophers were anything but unanimous. Plato himself, 
in his ** Laws," has no word of censure for him who deprives 
himself by violence of his appointed share of life under the com- 
pulsion of some painful and inevitable misfortune, or out of irre- 
mediable and intolerable shame. Hegesias, surnamed the '' death- 
persuader,*' who belonged to the Cyrenaic school, tried to prove 
the utter worthlessness and unprofitableness of life. According 
to Epicurus we ought to consider ** whether it be better that death 
should come to us, or we go to him." The Stoics, especially, 
advocated suicide as a relief from all kinds of misery. Seneca 
remarks that it is a man's own fault if he suffers, as, by putting 
an end to himself, he can put an end to his misery: — " As I 
would choose a ship to sail in, or a house to live in, so would I 
choose the most tolerable death when about to die. . . • Human 
affairs are in such a happy situation, that no one need be wretched 
but by choice. Do you like to be wretched ? Live. Do you like 
it not? It is in your power to return from whence you came." 
The Stoics did not deny that it is wrong to commit suicide in 
cases where the act would be an injury to society ; Seneca himself 
points out that Socrates lived thirty days in prison in expectation 
of death, so as to submit to the laws of his country, and to give 
his friends the enjoyment of his conversation to the last. 
Epictetus opposes indiscriminate suicide on religious grounds : — 
" Friends, wait for God; when he shall give the signal and release 
you from this service, then go to him ; but for the present endure to 
dwell in the place where he has put you." Such a signal, however, 
is given often enough : it may consist in incurable disease, intoler- 
able pain, or misery of any kind. " Remember this : the door is 
open ; be not more timid than little children, but as they say, when 
the thing does not please them, * I will play no longer,' so do 
you, when things seem to you of such a kind, say I will no longer 
play, and be gone: but if you stay, do not complain." Pliny 
says that the power of dying when you please is the best thing 
that God has given to man amidst all the sufferings of life. 

It seems that the Roman people, before the influence of 
Christianity made itself felt, regarded suicide with considerable 
moral indifference. According to Servius, it was provided by the 
Pontifical laws that whoever hanged himself should be cast out 
unburied; but from what has been said before it is probable that 



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24 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

this practice only owed its origin to fear of the dead man's ghost. 
Vergil enumerates self-murderers not among the guilty, but among 
the unfortunate, confounding them with infants who have died 
prematurely and persons who have been condemned to die on a 
false charge. Throughout the whole history of pagan Rome 
there was no statute declaring it to be a crime for an ordinary 
citizen to take his own life. The self-murderer's rights were in 
no way affected by his deed, his memory was no less honoured 
than if he had died a natural death, his will was recognised by 
law, and the regular order of succession was not interfered with. 
In Roman law there are only two noteworthy exceptions to the 
rule that suicide is a matter with which the State has nothing to 
do : it was prohibited in the case of soldiers, and the enactment 
was made that the suicide of an accused person should entail the 
same consequences as his condemnation ; but in the latter instance 
the deed was admitted as a confession of guilt. On the other 
hand, it seems to have been the general opinion in Rome that 
suicide under certain circumstances is an heroic and praiseworthy 
act. Even Cicero, who professed the doctrine of Pythagoras, ap- 
proved of the death of Cato. 

In no question of morality was there a greater difference 
between classical and Christian doctrines than in regard to suicide. 
The earlier Fathers of the Church still allowed, or even approved 
of, suicide in certain cases, namely, when committed in order 
to procure martyrdom, or to avoid apostacy, or to retain the crown 
of virginity. To bring death upon ourselves voluntarily, says 
Lactantius, is a wicked and impious deed; " but when urged to 
the alternative, either of forsaking God and relinquishing faith, 
or of expecting all torture and death, then it is that undaunted in 
spirit we defy that death with all its previous threats and terrors 
which others fear." Eusebius and other ecclesiastical writers 
mention several instances of Christian women putting an end to 
their lives when their chastity was in danger, and their acts are 
spoken of with tenderness, if not approbation; indeed, some of 
them were admitted into the calendar of saints. This admission was 
due to the extreme honour in which virginity was held by the 
Fathers; St. Jerome, who denied that it was lawful in times of 
persecution to die by one's own hand, made an exception for cases 
in which a person's chastity was at stake. But even this exception 
was abolished by St. Augustine. He allows that the virgins who 
laid violent hands upon themselves are worthy of compassion, but 
declares that there was no necessity for their doing so, since 



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SUICIDE 25 

chastity is a virtue of the mind which is not lost by the body being 
in captivity to the will and superior force of another. He argues 
that there is no passage in the canonical Scriptures which permits 
us to destroy ourselves either with a view to obtaining immortality 
or to avoiding calamity. On the contrary, suicide is prohibited 
in the commandment, ** Thou shalt not kill," namely, neither 
thyself nor another"; for he who kills himself kills no other 
but a man. This doctrine, which assimilates suicide with murder, 
was adopted by the Church. Nay, self-murder was declared to 
be the worst form of murder, ** the most grievous thing of all "; 
already St. Chrysostom had declared that ** if it is base to destroy 
others, much more is it to destroy one's self." The self-murderer 
was deprived of rights which were granted to all other criminals. 
In the sixth century a Council at Orleans enjoined that '' the 
oblations of those who were killed in the commission of any crime 
may be received, except of such as laid violent hands on them- 
selves " ; and a subsequent Council denied self-murderers the usual 
rites of Christian burial." It was even said that Judas committed 
a greater sin in killing himself than in betraying his master 
Christ to a certain death. ^^ 

According to the Christian doctrine, as formulated by Thomas 
Aquinas, suicide is utterly unlawful for three reasons. First, 
everything naturally loves itself and preserves itself in being; 
suicide is against a natural inclination and contrary to the charity 
which a man ought to bear towards himself, and consequently a 
mortal sin. Secondly, by killing himself a person does an injury 
to the community of which he is a part. Thirdly, ** life is a gift 
divinely bestowed on man, and subject to His power who * killeth 
and maketh alive ' ; and therefore he who takes his own life sins 
against God, as he who kills another man's slave sins against the 
master to whom the slave belongs, and as he sins who usurps 
the office of judge on a point not referred to him ; for to God alone 
belongs judgment of life and death." The second of these argu- 
ments is borrowed from Aristotle, and is entirely foreign to the 
spirit of early Christianity. The notion of patriotism being a 
moral duty was habitually discouraged by it, and, as Mr. Lecky 
observes, " it was impossible to urge the civic argument against 
suicide without at the same time condemning the hermit life, which 
in the third century became the ideal of the Church." But the 
other arguments are deeply rooted in some of the fundamental 
doctrines of Christianity — in the sacredness of human life, in the 
duty of absolute submission to God's will, and in the extreme 



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26 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

importance attached to the moment of death. The earthly life 
is a preparation for eternity ; sufferings which are sent by God are 
not to be evaded, but to be endured. The man who deliberately 
takes away the life which was given him by the Creator displays 
the utmost disregard for the will and authority of his Master ; and, 
worst of all, he does so in the very last minute of his life, when 
his doom is sealed for ever. His deed, as Thomas Aquinas says, 
is " the most dangerous thing of all, because no time is left to 
expiate it by repentance." He who kills a fellow-creature does 
not in the same degree renounce the protection of God; he kills 
only the body whereas the self-murderer kills both the body and 
the soul. By denying the latter the right of Christian burial the 
Church recognises that he has placed himself outside her pale. 

The condemnation of the Church influenced the secular legisla- 
tion. The provisions of the Councils were introduced into the 
law-books. In France Louis IX. enforced the penalty of confis- 
cating the self-murderer's property, and laws to the same effect 
were passed in other European countries. Louis XIV. assimilated 
the crime of suicide to that of Use majeste. According to the 
law of Scotland, " self-murder is as highly criminal as the killing 
our neighbour." In England suicide is still regarded by the 
law as murder committed by a man on himself ; and unless declared 
insane, the self-murderer forfeited his property as late as the year 
1870, when forfeitures for felony were abolished. In Russia, to 
this day, the testamentary dispositions of a suicide are deemed 
void by the law. 

The horror of suicide also found a vent in outrages committed 
on the dead body. Of a woman who drowned herself in Edin- 
burgh in 1598, we are told that her body was ** harled through 
the town backwards, and thereafter hanged on the gallows." In 
France, as late as the middle of the eighteenth century, self- 
murderers were dragged upon a hurdle through the streets with 
the face turned to the ground; they were then hanged up with 
the head downwards, and finally thrown into the common sewer. 
However, in most cases the treatment to which suicides' bodies 
were subject was not originally meant as a punishment, but was 
intended to prevent their spirits from causing mischief. All over 
Europe wandering tendencies have been ascribed to their ghosts. 
In some countries the corpse of a suicide is supposed to make 
barren the earth with which it comes in contact, or to produce 
hailstorms or tempests or drought. At Lochbroom, in the North- 
West of Scotland, the people believe that if the remains of a 



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SUICIDE 27 

self-murderer be taken to any burying-ground which is within 
sight of the sea or of cultivated land, this would prove disastrous 
both to fishing and agriculture, or, in the words of the people, 
would cause ** famine (or dearth) on sea and land "; hence the 
custom has been to inter suicides in out-of-th&-way places among 
the lonely solitudes of the mountains. The practice of burying 
them them apart from other dead has been very widespread in 
Europe, and in many cases there are obvious indications that 
it arose from fear. In the North-East of Scotland a suicfde was 
buried outside a churchyard, close beneath the wall, and the grave 
was marked by a single large stone, or by a small cairn, to which 
the passing traveller was bound to cast a stone; and afterwards, 
when the suicide's body was allowed to rest in the churchyard, 
it was laid below the wall in such a position that no one could 
walk over the grave, as the people believed that if a woman 
enceinte stepped over such a grave, her child would quit this earth 
by its own act. In England persons against whom a coroner's 
jury had found a verdict of felo de se were buried at cross-roads, 
with a stake driven through the body so as to prevent their 
ghosts from walking.^ For the same purpose the bodies of suicides 

1. Why were snioides buried at cross-roadB ? Possibly beoanse the cross 
was supposed to disperse the evil eneiigy ascribed to their bodies. Both in 
Europe and India the cross-road has, since ancient times, been a faTourite piace to 
divest oneself of diseases or other eyil influences (Wuttke, Der dtuUclu Volktaber- 
glaube der Gtgtnwart, §§ 483, 484, 492, 508, 514, 522, 545, pp. 325, 326, 331, 341, 
345, 349, 361. Hymm of tU Atharva-Veda, pp. 272, 473, 519. Oldenberg, Die 
Religion des Veda, pp. 267, 268 n. 1). In the sacred books it is said that " a student 
who has broken the tow of chastity shall ofEer an ass to Nirriti on a cross-road" 
{Cfautama, zziiL 17), and that a person who has previously undergone certain other 
purification ceremonies "is freed from all crimes, even mortal sins, after looking on 
a cross-road at a pot filled with water, and reciting the text, ' Simhe me manyuh ' " 
{Baudhdyana, iv. 7, 7). In the hills of Northern India and as far as Madras, an 
Improved charm for getting rid of a disease of demoniacal origin is to plant a stake 
where four roads meet, and to bury grains underneath, which crows disinter and eat 
(North Indian NoUs and Queries, i. § 652, p. 100; Madden, 'The Turaee and Outer 
Mountaios of Kumaoon,' in Jour. Aiiatie Soe. Bengal, zvii. pt. i. 583; Crooks, 
Popular Religion and Folk-Lore of Northern India, i. 290). In the Province of 
Bihar, " in cases of sickness various articles are exposed in a saucer at a cross-road " 
(Grierson, Bihar Peasant Life, p. 407). According to a Bulgarian tale. Lot was 
enjoined by the priest to plant on a cross-road three charred twigs in order to free 
himself from his sin (Strauss, Die Bulgaren, p. 115). The Gypsies of Servia believe 
that a thief may divert from himself all suspicions by painting with blood a cross and 
a dot above it on the spot where he conmiitted the theft (von Wlislocki, ' Menschen- 
blut im Glauben der Zigexmer,' in Am Ur-QueU, iii. 64 tf^.). In Morocco the cross is 
used as a charm against the evil eye, and the chief reason for this is, I believe, that 
it is regarded as a conductor of the baneful energy emanating from the eye, dis- 
persing it in all the quarters of the wind and thus preventing it from injuring the 



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28 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

were in many cases burned. And when removed from the house 
where the act had been committed, they were commonly carried 
out, not by the door, but by a window, or through a perforation 
specially made for the occasion in the door, or through a hole 
under the threshold, in order that the ghost should not find its 
way back into the house, or perhaps with a view of keeping 
the entrance of the house free from dangerous infection • 

However, side by side with the extreme severity with which 
suicide is viewed by the Christian Church we find, even in the 
Middle Ages, instances of more humane feelings towards its 
perpetrator. In mediaeval tales and ballads true lovers die together 
and are buried in the same grave; two roses spring through the 
turf and twine lovingly together. In the later Middle Ages, says 
M. Bourquelot, ** on voit qu'k mesure qu'on avance, Tantagonisme 
devient plus prononc^ entre Tesprit religieux et les id^es mondaines 
relativement a la mort volontaire. Le clerg6 continue k 
suivre la route qui a ^t^ trac^e par Saint Augustin et k 
d^larer le suicide criminel et impie; mais la tristesse et le 

person or object looked at (Westermarck, 'Magic Origin of Moorish Designa/ in 
Jour, Anthr. InsL xxziv. 214). In Japan, if a criminal belonging to one of the 
lower classes commits suicide, his body is crucified {Olohus, zviii. 197). When, 
under Tarqainius Priscns (or Tarquinios Superbns), many Romans preferred volun- 
tary death to compulsory labour in the cloaca, or artificial canals by which the sewage 
was carried into the Tiber, the king ordered that their bodies should be crucified and 
abandoned to birds and beasts of prey (Pliny, HUtoria naturalis, zzzvi. 24 ; Servius, 
Commentarii in Virgilii JSneidos, zii. 603). The reason for thus crucifying the bodies 
of self-murderers is not stated ; but it is interesting to notice, in this connection, 
the idea ezpressed by scHne Christian writers that the cross of the Saviour symbolised 
the distribution of his benign influence in all directions (d'Ancona, Origini del ttatro 
italiano, i. 646; Tauler, quoted by Peltzer, Deutsche Mystik und deutsche Kuiut, 
p. 191. I am indebted to my friend Dr. YrjO Him for drawing my attention to this 
idea). With reference to persons who had killed a father, mother, brother, or child, 
Plato says, in his ' Laws ' (iz. 873) : " If he be convicted, the servants of the judges 
and the magistrates shall slay him at an appointed place without the city where three 
ways meet, and there ezpose his body naked, and each of the magistrates on behalf 
of the whole city shall take a stone and cast it upon the head of the dead man, and 
so deliver the city from pollution; after that, they shall bear him to the borders of 
the land, and cast him forth unburied, according to law." The duels by which the 
ancient Swedes were legally compelled to repair their wounded honour were to be 
fought on a place where three roads met (Leffler, Om den fonuvenska hednalagenf 
p. 40 sq. In various countries it has been the custom to bury the dead at cross-roads 
(Grimm, 'Ueber das Verbrennen der Leichen,' in Kleinere Schriften, ii. 288 
(Bohemians); Lippert, Die Religionen der europdischen Culturvdlker, p. 310 
(Slavonians) ; Wintemitz, Das altindische Hochteitsrituell, p. 68 ; Oldenberg, Die 
Religian des Veda, pp. 267, 268, 562 n. 8)— a custom which may have given rise to 
the idea that cross-roads are haunted (Wintemitz, op. dt. p. 68 ; Oldenberg, op, cit. 
p. 267 sq.; cf. Wuttke, op. cit. f 108 p. 89 sq.). 



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SUICIDE 29 

d^sespoir n'entendent pas sa voix, ne se souviennent pas de ses 
prescriptions." The revival of classical learning, accompanied as 
it was by admiration for antiquity and a desire to imitate its great 
men, not only increased the number of suicides, but influenced 
popular sentiments on the subject. Even the Catholic casuists, 
and later on philosophers of the school of Grotius and others, 
began to distinguish certain cases of legitimate suicide, such as 
that committed to avoid dishonour or probable sin, or that of a 
condemned person saving himself from torture by anticipating 
an inevitable death, or that of a man offering himself to death 
for the sake of his friend. Sir Thomas More, in his Utopia, 
permits a person who is suffering from an incurable and painful 
disease to take his own life, provided that he does so with the 
agreement of the priests and magistrates ; nay, he even maintains 
that these should exhort such a man to put an end to a life 
which is only a burden to himself and others. Donne, the well- 
known Dean of St. Paul's, wrote in his younger days a book 
in defence of suicide, ** a Declaration," as he called it, ** of that 
paradoxe, or thesis, that Self-homicide is not so naturally sin, 
that it may never be otherwise." He there pointed out the fact — 
which ought never to be overlooked by those who derive their 
arguments from ** nature " — that some things may be natural to 
the species, and yet not natural to every individual member of it. 
In one of his Essays Montaigne pictures classical cases of suicide 
with colours of unmistakable sympathy. "La plus volontaire 
mort," he observes, " c'est la plus belle. La vie despend de la 
volont6 d'aultruy; la mort, de la nostre." The rationalism of 
the eighteenth century led to numerous attacks both upon the views 
of the Church and upon the laws of the State concerning suicide. 
Montesquieu advocated its legitimacy : — "La soci^t^ est fondle 
sur un avantage mutuel; mais lorsqu'elle me devient on^reuse, 
qui m'emp&:he d'y renoncer? La vie m*a it6 donn^e comme une 
faveur; je puis done la rendre lorsqu' elle ne Test plus: la cause 
cesse, Teffet doit done cesser aussi." Voltaire strongly opposed 
the cruel laws which subjected a suicide's body to outrage and 
deprived his children of their heritage. If his act is a wrong 
against society, what is to be said of the voluntary homicides 
committed in war, which are permitted by the laws of all countries ? 
Are they not much more harmful to the human race than self- 
murder, which nature prevents from ever being practised by any 
large number of men? Beccaria pointed out that the State is 
more wronged by the emigrant than by the suicide, since the 



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30 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

former takes his property with him, whereas the latter leaves his 
behind. According to Holbach, he who kills himself is guilty of 
no outrage on nature or its author ; on the contrary, he follows an 
indication given by nature when he parts from his sufferings 
through the only door which has been left open. Nor has his 
country or his family any right to complain of a member whom it 
has no means of rendering happy, and from whom it consequently 
has nothing more to hope. Others eulogised suicide when com- 
mitted for a noble end, or recommended it on certain occasions. 
** Suppose,'* says Hume, " that it is no longer in my power 
to promote the interest of society ; suppose that I am a burthen to 
it; suppose that my life hinders some person from being much 
more useful to society. In such cases my resignation of life must 
not only be innocent but laudable.*' Hume also attacks the 
doctrine that suicide is a transgression of our duty to God. ** If 
it would be no crime in me to divert the Nile from its course 
were I able to do so, how could it be a crime to turn a few 
ounces of blood from their natural channel ? Were the disposal 
of human life so much reserved as the peculiar province of the 
Almighty that it were an encroachment on his right for men to 
dispose of their own lives, would it not be equally wrong of them 
to lengthen out their lives beyond the period which by the general 
laws of nature he had assigned to it ? My death, however volun- 
tary, does not happen without the consent of Providence; when 
I fall upon my own sword, I receive my death equally from the hands 
of the Deity as if it had proceeded from a lion, a precipice, or a 
fever." 

Thus the main arguments against suicide which had been set 
forth by pagan philosophers and Christian theologians were scru- 
tinised and found unsatisfactory or at least insufficient to justify 
that severe and wholesale censure which was passed on it by the 
Church and the State. But a doctrine which has for ages been 
inculcated by the leading authorities on morals is not easily over- 
thrown; and when the old arguments are found fault with new 
ones are invented. Kant maintained that a person who disposes 
of his own life degrades the humanity subsisting in his person and 
entrusted to him to the end that he might uphold it. Fichte argued 
that it is our duty to preserve our life and to will to live, not for 
the sake of life, but because our life is the exclusive condition of 
the realisation of the moral law through us. According to Hegel 
it is a contradiction to speak of a person's right over his life, since 
this would imply a right of a person over himself, and no one 



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SUICIDE 31 

can stand above and execute himself. Paley, again, feared that if 
religion and morality allowed us to kill ourselves in any case, 
mankind would have to live in continual alarm for the fate of 
their friends and dearest relations — ^just as if there were a very 
strong temptation for men to shorten their lives. But common 
sense is neither a metaphysician nor a sophist. When not re- 
strained by the yoke of a narrow theology, it is inclined in most 
cases to regard the self-murderer as a proper object of compassion 
rather than of condemnation, and in some instances to admire him 
as a hero. The legislation on the subject therefore changed as 
soon as the religious influence was weakened. The laws against 
suicide were abolished in France by the Revolution, and afterwards 
in various other continental countries ; whilst in England it became 
the custom of jurymen to presume absence of a sound mind in the 
self-murderer — perjury, as Bentham said, being the penance which 
prevented an outrage on humanity. These measures undoubtedly 
indicate not only a greater regard for the innocent relatives of the 
self-murderer, but also a change in the moral ideas concerning the 
act itself. 

As appears from this survey of facts, the moral valuation of 
suicide varies to an extreme degree. It depends partly on the 
circumstances in which the act is committed, partly on the point 
of view from which it is regarded and the notions held about the 
future life. When a person sacrifices his life for the benefit of 
a fellow-man or for the sake of his country or to gratify the 
supposed desire of a god, his deed may be an object of the highest 
praise. It may, further, call forth approval or admiration as 
indicating a keen sense of honour or as a test of courage ; in Japan, 
says Professor Chamberlain, " the courage to take life— be it one's 
own or that of others — ranks extraordinarily high in public 
esteem." In other cases suicide is regarded with indifference as 
an act which concerns the agent alone. But for various reasons 
it is also apt to give rise to moral disapproval. The injury which 
the person committing it inflicts upon himself may excite sym- 
pathetic resentment towards him; he may be looked upon as 
injurer and injured at the same time. Plato asks in his ' Laws ' : 
— " What ought he to suffer who murders his nearest and so- 
called dearest friend? I mean, he who kills himself." And the 
same point of view is conspicuous in St. Augustine's argument, 
that the more innocent the self-murderer was before he committed 
his deed the greater is his guilt in taking his life — ^an argument of 
particular force in connection with a theology which condemns 



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32 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

suicides to everlasting torments and which regards it as a man's 
first duty to save his soul. The condemnation of killing others 
may by an association of ideas lead to a condemnation of killing 
one's self, as is suggested by the Christian doctrine that suicide is 
prohibited in the commandment, ** Thou shalt not kill." The 
horror which the act inspires, the fear of the malignant ghost, and 
the defiling efifect attributed to the shedding of blood, also tend 
to make suicide an object of moral reprobation or to increase the 
disapproval of it; and the same is the case with the exceptional 
treatment to which the self-murderer's body is subject and his 
supposed annihilation or miserable existence after death, which 
easily come to be looked upon in the light of a punishment. 
Suicide is, moreover, blamed as an act of moral cowardice, and, 
especially, as an injury inflicted upon other persons, to whom the 
agent owed duties from which he withdrew by shortening his life. 
Even among savages we meet with the notion that a person is not 
entitled to treat himself just as he pleases. Among the Goajiro 
Indians of Colombia, if anybody accidentally cuts himself, say 
with his own knife, or breaks a limb, or otherwise does himself 
an injury, his family on the mother's side immediately demands 
blood-money, since, being of their blood, he is not allowed to spill 
it without paying for it ; the father's relatives demand tear-money, 
and friends present claim compensation to repay their sorrow at 
seeing a friend in pain. That a similar view is sometimes taken 
by savages with regard to suicide appears from a few statements 
quoted above. The opinion that suicide is an ofifence against 
society at large is particularly likely to prevail in communities 
where the interests of the individual are considered entirely subor- 
dinate to the interests of the State. The religious argument, again, 
that suicide is a sin against the Creator, an illegitimate interference 
with his work and decrees, comes to prominence in proportion 
as the moral consciousness is influenced by theological considera- 
tions. In Europe this influence is certainly becoming less and 
less. And considering that the religious view of suicide has been 
the chief cause of the extreme severity which it has been treated 
in Christian countries, I am unable to subscribe to the opinion 
expressed by Professor Durkheim, that the more lenient judgment 
passed on it by the public conscience of the present time is merely 
accidental and transient. The argument adduced in support of 
this opinion leaves out of account the real causes to which the 
valuation of suicide is due : it is said that the moral evolution is 
not likely to be retrogressive in this particular point after it has 



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SUICIDE 33 

followed a certain course for centuries. It is true that moral 
progress has a tendency to increase our sense of duty towards our 
fellow-men. But at the same time it also makes us more con- 
siderate as regards the motives of conduct; and — not to speak of 
suicides committed for the benefit of others — the despair of the self- 
murderer will largely serve as a palliation of the wrong which 
he may possibly inflict upon his neighbour. 

Edward Westermarck, 



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34 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 



THE CRIMINAL PROBLEM. 

In so far as it is legitimate to generalise about the history of the 
past, it may be said with a considerable amount of truth that the 
idea of political emancipation was one of dominant watchwords of 
the 19th century. The desire for political emancipation was at 
the root of the great movement which led to the liberation of so 
many European nationalities from a foreign yoke, and which has 
done so much to transform the map of Europe. Among nations 
which had not burdens of this kind to shake off, the desire for 
political emancipation took the form of an agitation on the part of 
the unfranchised classes for a share in the government of their 
country and a voice in shaping the laws which they were expected 
to obey. The task which lay before the civilised world at the 
beginning of the 19th century has been with some exceptions to a 
large extent accomplished, and the 20th century finds itself 
confronted with problems of another kind. 

It is always hazardous to attempt to forecast the movements of 
the future, and it is impossible to say in these early days of the 
20th century what its dominating ideas are likely to be. But at 
the present moment in whatever direction we choose to look we 
shall find that the idea of social emancipation is occupying the 
same place in men's minds now as the idea of political emancipation 
occupied in the minds of our predecessors in the century which 
has passed away. At the bottom of all the unrest which now 
prevails among so many important sections of the community in 
Europe and America is a keen sense of dissatisfaction with the 
existing social order of things. When men look with an impartial 
eye on society as it is at present constituted they are compelled to 
feel that it is burdened and oppressed by social miseries from 
which it must be liberated, if the race is to advance towards higher 
forms of civilised life. Amongst the most conspicuous of these 
social miseries are the oscillations of employment, pauperism, 
insanity, and crime. All these problems, although they differ in 
outward appearance, are intimately and organically connected, and 
as a whole may be said to constitute the social problem. But, for 
purposes of enquiry, it is better to consider each of them apart, 
and in the following remarks it is our intention to confine ourselves 
to a consideration of the problem of crime. 



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CRIMINAL PROBLEM 35 

The most important materials for appreciating the nature of 
this problem are to be found in the annual returns dealing with the 
operations of the criminal courts and the prison administration. 
Almost all civilised States compile an annual record of the amount 
of crime which has been committed in their midst. The French 
were the first to establish this system of tabulating the criminal 
statistics of the community. Their example has been followed by 
other European States, and it is possible, with the aid of these 
annual returns, to estimate approximately the amount of crime 
which has been committed in each country from year to year. 
Attempts have been made from time to time to institute inter- 
national comparisons. But these international comparisons, when 
we look closely into them, are found to be of little value. In no 
two countries are crimes classified in the same way. No two 
countries possess exactly the same criminal law or the same forms 
of criminal procedure or the same definition of the various crimes. 
These differences, as well as many others which need not here be 
mentioned, stand in the way of accurate and satisfactory inter- 
national comparisons. If we take the crime of homicide, for 
example, we shall find that it is not defined in the same manner 
in any of our modem criminal codes ; at the same time it is probably 
easier to institute some kind of comparison between homicide in 
one country and the same crime in another than it is with respect 
to any other kind of oflFence. 

The fullest returns of the amount of crime committed from year 
to year consist of the number of offences annually reported to the 
police. For instance, in the quinquennial period 1901 — 05, the 
latest period concerning which we possess official information, the 
number of indictable offences reported to the police amounted to 
87,591, a proportion of 262 indictable offences per 100 thousand 
of the general population. The number of offences reported to the 
police is in many respects a valuable index of the criminal condition 
of the community. But it must be borne in mind that it is by no 
means an accurate test of the total volume of crime. Many offences 
are committed which never reach the ears of the police at all. 
These offences cannot be included in the annual returns of crime. 
On the other hand, many of the offences which are reported to the 
police may turn out to be of a different character #om the reports 
which the police receive of them. It is only after an offender has 
been tried and convicted that we are able to say with a considerable 
amount of accuracy what his offence has been. Police reports are 
more valuable as a test of the efficiency of the police in the detection 



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36 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

of crime than as a test of the total amount of crime. If we find that 
there is a high ratio of apprehensions and convictions to the 
number of offences reported to the police, we are able to infer from 
this fact that the police are doing their work efficiently as far as 
regards the detection of crime. If we find, on the other hand, that 
there is a low ratio of apprehensions and convictions to the number 
of offences committed, it at once raises the question of the efficiency 
of the police. 

At the same time, it must be remembered that there are circum- 
stances in which the efficiency or non-efficiency of the police force 
cannot be measured by the ratio of offences committed to convic- 
tions obtained. The effectiveness of the police force is always 
largely determined by the attitude of the population towards the 
criminal law. If public sentiment is on the side of the law, the 
police are easily able to obtain witnesses and information of all 
sorts as to the crime which has been committed. If, on the other 
hand, public opinion is hostile to the criminal law as a whole or to 
certain parts of it, it is much more difficult for the police to secure 
convictions, even if they are a capable body of men. We have a 
striking illustration of this in connection with certain offences 
committed in Ireland. Irish public opinion is not on the side of 
the law in so far as it relates to agrarian crime. The result of this 
is that it is exceedingly difficult for the police to secure convictions 
for agrarian offences. The feeling of the public is with the 
agrarian offender. Witnesses will not come forward to give 
evidence ; juries, when these cases come before the higher courts, 
are unwilling to bring in a verdict of guilty, no matter how clear 
the evidence of guilt may be. The result is that the police are 
thrown back entirely on their own resources, and when this is the 
case the proportion of convictions to the number of crimes 
committed is necessarily small. Irish public opinion is on the 
side of the law with regard to offences which are not agrarian in 
their nature. Offences of this kind are much more likely to be 
detected and punished, not because the police are more vigilant 
in the one case than in the other, but simply because they have 
the public behind them in the one case, and hostile to them in the 
other. 

A less comprehensive but more accurate record of the amount of 
crime annually committed within the community is the number of 
offences which come up for trial in the criminal courts. In all 
cases in which a person comes up for trial there is usually a certain 
amount of evidence against him. And even if this evidence is 



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CRIMINAL PROBLEM 37 

incomplete or amounts to very little when sifted before the judicial 
bench, it is at least sufficient in most cases to show that an offence 
against the law has been committed, although the person charged 
with committing it may not be the guilty party. Convictions are 
the most accurate record of the amount of crime committed from 
year to year. We can never be really sure what sort of crime has 
been committed until it has come up for minute and searching 
investigation in a court of justice, A charge of murder, when 
the case is tried, often resolves itself into a case of manslaughter, 
or perhaps into a case of justifiable homicide. A charge of burglary 
when it comes up for trial finally resolves itself into a case of simple 
theft. A charge of embezzlement may turn out, upon judicial 
investigation to be an act which is quite within the limits of the 
law. Other instances might easily be adduced to show that we 
cannot say what the nature of an offence really is until it has been 
submitted to the judgment of a judicial tribunal. The following 
recent instance from a report of police proceedings in the ** Times " 
will make this clear : — The collector of an insurance company was 
charged on remand with attempting to shoot a detective with a 
revolver. It appears that the collector, in the course of his duties, 
had to go in a very rough neighbourhood with the company's 
money in his pockets. He therefore possessed himself of a small 
revolver for his own protection. On the evening in question he 
had beetween £2 and £3 in his possession. When the detective 
approached him he did not say who he was, and the insurance 
collector foolishly pointed the revolver at him, but he had no 
intention of discharging it. When these circumstances were 
explained to the magistrate, he said he was satisfied that the 
defendant did not mean to shoot the detective. The probability 
was that he felt frightened, and thought he was going to be 
interfered with. But it was a serious matter to point a revolver 
at anyone in this way, and he fined the defendant £$. In this 
case an offence which seemed to be of a very serious character 
assumed much smaller proportions when it came before the courts, 
and the magistrate was able to dispose of it by the imposition of a 
small fine. 

The chief courts in this country for the trial of criminal cases 
of an indictable character are the Assizes, which include the 
Central Criminal Courts and the courts of Quarter Sessions, The 
Assizes are courts presided over by H.M. judges when they go on 
circuit for the administration of justice. These courts are held as 
a rule three times a year for each county. On the other hand, 



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38 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

the Central Criminal Court, sitting in London, is held twelve 
times in the year. The courts of Quarter Sessions exist in each 
county, and in boroughs which have received the right to hold 
a separate court. In boroughs of this kind the court consists of 
the recorder of the borough. In the counties the courts consist 
of the justices for the county. A court of Quarter Sessions has 
less extensive powers than the courts of Assize. Such offences as 
treason, murder, perjury and libel can only be tried at Assizes. 
All cases tried at Assizes and Quarter Sessions are tried on an 
indictment presented by a Grand Jury, and the trial is always by 
jury. So much as to the character and composition of the higher 
criminal courts. 

Minor offences are tried in the police courts or courts of 
summary jurisdiction. In these courts the magistrates decide both 
as to the law and facts, and the trial is conducted without a jury. 
In order to constitute a court of summary jurisdiction the presence 
of at least two justices of the peace is usually necessary, although 
there are certain cases in which such a court may consist of one 
justice only, but in such cases the powers of the court are extremely 
limited. In some of our large cities, such as London, Liverjxx)! 
and Leeds, there are stipendiary magistrates, who preside over the 
police courts, and have all the powers of two or more justices. All 
cases, whatever their gravity, come, in the first place, before courts 
of summary jurisdiction for preliminary investigation. If the 
court considers that the case is too serious in character to be dealt 
with summarily the accused is either remanded to prison to await 
his trial at the Assizes or Sessions, or, if the case admits of it, he is 
liberated on bail until the Assizes and Sessions are held. 

Offences in this country are divided into two classes — indictable 
and non-indictable. All statutory offences, unless the statute 
expressly provides for some other method of trial, are indictable, 
and so are all the ancient common law offences. All non-indictable 
offences are created by statute, and in every case it is expressly 
declared in the statute that such offences can be tried by courts of 
summary jurisdiction. Within the last twenty years the powers of 
courts of summary jurisdiction have been considerably extended, 
and many offences which used to be tried on indictment at Sessions 
and Assizes may now be tried summarily. On the other hand, 
certain offences which are usually tried summarily may be sent 
before Assizes and Sessions as if they were indictable. Such cases 
include assault, intimidation and cruelty to children. 

The proceedings at Sessions and Assizes are commenced by the 



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CRIMINAL PROBLEM 39 

preferring of a bill of indictment before the Grand Jury, When 
the Grand Jury consider the case and arrive at the conclusion that 
there is no satisfactory evidence against the accused person they 
decide that there is no true bill, and the prisoner is released. The 
prisoner is tried when the Grand Jury find that there is sufficient 
evidence in the indictment or formal accusation against him. He 
is then formally accused before the ordinary jury, and if at this 
stage he is discovered to be insane and unfit to plead he is not 
tried, but is ordered to be detained during H.M. pleasure. 
After hearing all the facts of the case a jury may arrive at one of 
three verdicts — a verdict of acquittal, a verdict of conviction or a 
verdict to the eflfect that the prisoner was guilty but insane at the 
time when he committed the crime. The duty of pronouncing a 
verdict rests with the jury, the duty of pronouncing a sentence of 
punishment rests with the judge. 

The punishments which may be imposed upon a convicted 
oflFender by the law of England range from an order to the prisoner 
to come up for judgment when called upon, to the penalty of death. 
In addition to these punishments a convicted offender may be 
sentenced to penal servitude, a punishment which ranges between 
a sentence of three years' detention and a sentence for life in a 
penal servitude prison. In this country prisons are divided into 
two classes, that is to say, prisons for the detention of offenders 
sentenced to three years and over, a punishment which is known as 
a sentence to penal servitude, and prisons for the detention of 
prisoners sentenced for two years and under. The latter are called 
local prisons. These local prisons were formerly known as county 
prisons, and they were at that time under the management of the 
county authorities. But in the year 1877, an Act was passed 
transferring the county prisons from the jurisdiction of the local 
authorities to the jurisdiction of the Crown. Under this new 
system the management of all county or local prisons fell into the 
hands of the Home Secretary, and the central government is now 
responsible for the treatment of the whole prison population, 
whether in local prisons or in penal servitude. 

Another form of punishment existing in this country consists 
in the detention of delinquent juveniles in a reformatory school. 
These schools are available for juveniles under sixteen years of 
age. Another method of dealing with juveniles is to commit them 
for a certain period to an industrial school. Children under twelve 
years of age may be committed to these schools. In recent years 
a new method of punishment has come into operation for habitual 



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40 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

drunkards. Offenders of this type may now be committed to what 
is called an inebriate reformatory. It will be seen that sentences 
to penal servitude, to imprisonment, to detention in a reformatory 
or industrial school, and to detention in an inebriate reformatory 
are all punishments which involve the loss of liberty. 

Corporal punishment is still a weapon used by the English law. 
It exists in two forms — whipping with a birch-rod and flogging 
with the cat. As a rule, whipping is usually reserved for juvenile 
offenders and flogging for adults. A punishment of a more 
mitigated character than either the loss of liberty or corporal 
punishment consists in the imposition of a fine. A new form of 
punishment will also shortly come into operation called the proba- 
tion of offenders. The probation of offenders has existed for a 
considerable number of years in many of the States of the American 
Union. It has now been made law by the present Parliament, and 
its application as a means of dealing with lighter offences rests 
mainly with the local authorities. The fundamental principle of 
the new Act is that an offender, after being convicted, instead of 
being fined or whipped or temporarily deprived of his liberty by 
being sent to prison, will be put upon probation, that is to say, 
upon his good behaviour for a certain number of months, and 
will have to submit himself to the supervision of an official, who 
will be called the probation officer. It is hoped by the advocates 
of this new Act that its operation may have the effect of preventing 
a considerable number of petty offenders from coming to prison. 
When the Probation of Offenders Act comes into force the criminal 
law of this country will possess ten different kinds of penalties 
rising in severity in accordance with the nature of the offence and 
character of the offender. These penalties may be briefly described 
as an order to the prisoner to come up for judgment when called 
upon, probation, fine, corporal punishment, detention in an 
industrial school, in a reformatory school, in an inebriate reforma- 
tory, imprisonment, penal servitude, and capital punishment. 

It will now be of interest to show the extent to which these 
various forms of punishment at the disposal of the criminal law are 
inflicted upon persons convicted of crime. Taking the most serious 
cases first, we will deal with the number of persons convicted for 
murder and sentenced to death. If we take the year 1905, we find 
that the number of persons sentenced to death in England amounted 
to thirty-two. Of this number nearly one-half had their sentence 
commuted to penal servitude for life; the others suffered the 
extreme penalty of the law. The number of offenders sentenced 



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CRIMINAL PROBLEM 41 

to penal servitude in England and Wales in the year 1905 
amounted to 977, a ratio of practically 3 persons per 100 thousand 
of the population. The number of persons sentenced to imprison- 
ment, that is to say, to detention for two years and under, amounted 
in round numbers to 197,000, or 586 per 100 thousand of the 
population. The total number of habitual drunkards committed 
to inebriate reformatories amounted to 433, The number of 
criminal lunatics committed to the criminal lunatic asylum at 
Broadmoor and to the various county asylums amounted to 196. 
The number of juveniles committed to reformatory schools 
amounted to 1,186. The number of juveniles committed to 
industrial schools of all kinds, day industrial, truant industrial 
schools, and ordinary industrial schools, amounted to 5,134. The 
number of persons sentenced to corporal punishment by courts of 
summary jurisdiction amounted to 2,403. The number at Assizes 
and Quarter Sessions sentenced to be whipped or flogged amounted 
to 6. The vast majority of cases which come before courts of 
summary jurisdiction are dealt with by the imposition of a fine. 
The number of fines inflicted in these cases amounted to a total 
of 535>i5i . On the other hand, cases tried at Sessions and Assizes 
are usually too serious to be dealt with by the infliction of a 
pecuniary penalty, and we find that of the total number of cases 
tried in these courts, only 53 were punished by fining. We now 
come to the lightest punishment of all, namely, recognizances with 
or without sureties. The numbers dealt with in this way amounted 
to 16,084. 

What are the offences for which the above-mentioned punish- 
ments are inflicted ? As far as serious offences are concerned, they 
may be divided into two classes — offences against the person and 
offences against property. The great bulk of serious offences, that 
is to say, offences tried at Sessions and Assizes, are offenders 
against property. Only between 4 per cent, and 5 per cent, of the 
total number of serious offences can be placed in the category of 
offences against the person. Nearly the whole of the remaining 
95 per cent, consist of offences against property. These offences 
against property, when we analyse the returns, are found to consist 
of such crimes as burglary, house-breaking, shop-breaking, 
larceny, embezzlement, obtaining goods by false pretences, frauds, 
malicious injuries to property, forgery, and offences against the 
currency. The great bulk of offences against property are cases 
of simple larceny. Offences against the person when of a serious 
character consist of such crimes as murder, attempting to murder, 



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42 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

manslaughter, felonious and malicious wounding, assault, intimi- 
dation, cruelty to children, indecent assaults, abduction and 
bigamy. 

Crimes of the serious kind which have just been mentioned 
constitute a very small fraction of the total number of ofiFences. 
Most of the offences committed in this country are of such a nature 
that they can be dealt with summarily in the police courts without 
invoking the elaborate machinery of a judge and jury. The annual 
average number of persons tried by jury in the five years 1901 — 05 
only amounted to 11,711, whereas the annual average of persons 
tried during the same period in the police courts numbered 787,714. 
Of this vast total drunkenness amounted to close upon 22,000 cases. 
The other offences which run into high figures are assaults, 
offences against the Elementary Education Acts, adulteration of 
food, cruelty to children and animals, offences against the game 
laws, the highway Acts, the liquor laws, the labour laws, malicious 
damage, pffences against police regulations, against the poor law, 
the revenue laws, sanitary laws, vagrancy Acts, and petty theft. 
It will be seen that many of the offences tried in the police courts 
are not criminal in character, and would not brand the perpetrator 
of them as in any way a criminal. Offences against local Acts 
and bye-laws or offences against the highway Acts or offences 
against police regulations are very seldom of a deliberately criminal 
character, and the commission of such offences does not as a rule 
involve the loss of personal reputation. On the other hand, 
offences against the Elementary Education Acts which usually 
means the deliberate and persistent neglect on the part of parents 
to send their children to school exhibit such a serious lack of the 
sense of parental responsibility and often involve such serious 
consequences on the children themselves, that they almost come 
within the category of actual crimes. 

One of the most conspicuous facts in connection with the 
administration of the criminal law in recent years has been the 
tendency to mitigate the severity of punishments. Many cases 
which used to be dealt with by the infliction of a fine or whipping 
are now dealt with by the much simpler and more humane expedient 
of sureties for good behaviour. There has been an enormous 
increase in cases of this kind. Cases which used to be dealt with 
by a sentence of imprisonment are now dealt with by the infliction 
of a fine. There is a great reduction in the longer terms of 
imprisonment, and a very great decrease in the longer sentences 
of penal servitude. The Summary Jurisdiction Act which enables 



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CRIMINAL PROBLEM 43 

offenders charged with certain indictable oflfences to be tried 
summarily, has also had the effect of diminishing the severity of 
punishment. It is very remarkable that the apparent decrease of 
crime and the decided decrease in the severity of punishments have 
gone forward in this country hand in hand. Whether this 
condition of things is a mere coincidence or whether it is a relation 
of cause and effect it would be exceedingly difficult to say. But it 
is a fact which deserves to be particularly noted as it raises the 
great question of the effect of punishment on crime. 

The effect of punishment upon crime is a very difficult and 
obscure problem. It is perfectly well known, for example, to all 
criminals who commit murder in this country that murder is 
punished with the penalty of death. But, in spite of this well- 
known fact, the number of persons sentenced to death for murder 
varies comparatively little from one quinquennial period to another. 

The same statement holds true with regard to offences against 
property accompanied by violence, such as burglary and house- 
breaking. The perpetrators of these offences know perfectly well 
that they will be severely punished if they are convicted, yet the 
proportions of them to the population have remained very much 
the same for the last twenty years. In the case of murder, it has 
been contended by eminent authorities that the dread of capital 
punishment has little or no effect upon the class of persons who 
commit such crimes. Crimes of violence against property, such as 
burglary and house-breaking, are very often committed by habitual 
criminals, most of whom have already served either long terms of 
imprisonment or sentences of penal servitude. But the punishment 
which they have experienced in the past, and not merely the dread 
of it, as in the case of would-be murderers, has, it is contended, 
little or no effect upon their future conduct in the world. 

A conclusion is drawn from the yearly repetition of a similar 
amount of crime that criminal acts, which seem to be a matter of 
free individual choice, are in reality determined by a variety of 
other circumstances with which the individual will has compara- 
tively little to do. It is not maintained that criminal statistics are 
adverse to a belief in the freedom of the will, but it is held that the 
testimony of these statistics goes to show that the determinations of 
the will operate within a narrower range than is commonly 
supposed. Notwithstanding the fact that punishment seems to 
have so little effect upon the total volume of serious crime, it would 
be hazardous, and in fact unjustifiable, to assert that it has no effect 
at all. All that we can really infer from the regularity with which 



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44 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

a certain number of serious offences are committed from year to 
year is that there exists a certain section of the population who are 
not deterred from committing these offences by the terrors of the 
criminal law. We do not know the number of persons who may 
possibly be deterred from committing crime by the probability that 
they will be punished for it. In order to get at satisfactory 
evidence of this kind we should have to make the experiment of 
abolishing the penal code altogether and watch for the result. 
A man like Tolstoy would urge us to make such an experiment, 
but society is not likely to take his advice in this matter for many 
a year to come. 

Whatever opinion may be held about the value of punishment, it 
is indisputable that the fear of punishment or the actual experience 
of punishment has only a limited effect upon the annual dimensions 
of crime. It is absurd to set it up, as is sometimes done, as a 
remedy for crime. We are sometimes told that if punishments 
were made sufficiently severe, criminals would become as rare as 
wolves. But statements of this kind fly in the face of experience, 
and I can only repeat what I stated several years ago on this 
subject. As a matter of fact and of history the existing system of 
penal treatment is a re-action, a conscious and deliberate re-action, 
against the futile barbarities which preceded it. Sir Samuel 
Romilly, Sir James Macintosh, Sir Robert Peel and their successors 
were practical statesmen of the highest character and experience, 
and they systematically proceeded to abolish the severities of the 
old criminal law on the ground that they were not effective as 
deterrents. At the beginning of the nineteenth century the penal 
laws of England were written in blood. Townsend, a celebrated 
Bow Street runner, stated before a Parliamentary Commission that 
he had known as many as forty people hanged in one day. At 
Kingston, seven persons, four men and three women, were 
convicted of being concerned in robbing a pedlar : ** they were all 
hanged in Kent Street, opposite the door." One hundred and 
sixty different offences were punishable by death without benefit of 
clergy. Forgers were executed at the rate of one every three weeks 
between the years 1805 and 1818. I might multiply instances by 
the score to exemplify the drastic fashion in which criminals of all 
kinds were treated at the beginning of the nineteenth century. But 
such examples would only appal and horrify the reader. The facts 
are too well known to be disputed. 

The universal testimony of historians and writers on crime who 
have examined this period is that the savagery of the criminal law 



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CRIMINAL PROBLEM 45 

defeated its own ends. In face of the penalties to which they knew 
a convicted man would be exposed witnesses would not come 
forward to give evidence. Even when the evidence was clear, 
juries would not consent to convict. Justice was partially paralysed. 
The conscience of the community was at variance with the enact- 
ments of the law. The elaborate machinery of the penal system 
broke down. That was result number one. Result number two 
was the increase of crime by leaps and bounds. Professional 
blackmailers lived in opulence and security. A Parliamentary 
Committee, which sat in 1828, reported that more than sixteen 
banks had been forced to pay blackmail to thieves, and that more 
than £200yOCX} worth of property had in a short space been the 
object of negotiation or compromise. Blackmailers received their 
spoils from bankers "accompanied by a clearance from every risk, 
and perfect impunity for their crimes." The highways outside 
London were infested with professional footpads, and I was told 
by an old lady that in the first quarter of the last century her father 
never used to ride down as far as Acton without a brace of pistols 
in his belt. In London itself the law was powerless to prevent 
crime. The police were unable to give protection. Shopkeepers 
combined to provide patrols to watch the fronts of their shops. 
Householders had to arm themselves against burglars, and house- 
breakers were kept off by man-traps and spring guns. The country 
was deluged with spurious coin and counterfeit bank-notes, and it 
has been estimated that there were as many as fifty fraudulent mints 
in the Metropolis alone. As for the police, they admitted that 
there were many streets in London which they dared not enter. 
John Sayer, a Bow Street officer, stated before a Parliamentary 
Committee that such places as Duck Lane, Gravel Lane, and Cock 
Lane, in Westminster, were so infested by gangs of ruffians that 
no policeman dare venture near them, unless accompanied by five 
or six others, for fear of being cut to pieces. Yet every one of 
these ruffians knew that he would be executed or transported for 
life if convicted of theft. 

It will be seen from these facts, which are taken from official 
documents, that the attempt to make ** really bad offenders as rare 
as wolves " by hanging and transporting them was given a good 
trial, at one period of our history, and absolutely failed. The 
failure was so complete that responsible statesmen of all parties 
were ultimately obliged to admit it. The logic of facts was too 
strong for the preconceived theory that punishment will be effective 
if you only make it severe enough. In place of that theory 



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46 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

statesmen came round to the principle enunciated in the H^ se of 
Commons by Sir James Macintosh in 1822 that the way to incr-^ase 
the efficiency of the criminal law is to mitigate its severity. It is 
on this i>rinciple that penal legislation in England has ever since 
proceeded. The principle has been accompanied by an enoromus 
increase in social security and an equally great decrease in human 
misery and suffering. ** Brutal laws," says Montesquieu, 
'* brutalise the population," and in inflaming the lower instincts 
they increase crime instead of diminishing it. 

Contemporary penal science has arrived at the conclusion that 
crime as a whole springs from conditions which punishment cannot 
touch, and therefore cannot cure. In fact, it may be regarded as a 
sociological law that the volume of crime in civilised society is 
mainly determined by the outward and inward conditions of its 
individual members. In the effort which must be made to reduce 
the proportions of crime a very secondary place must be given to 
the fear of punishment. Attention must mainly be concentrated 
on the individual and social circumstances which tend to produce 
the criminal. The principal individual circumstances are the 
defective physical and mental outfit with which he has to face the 
world. In an industrial society such as ours industrial fitness is 
a fundamental requirement. Those who are industrially unfit 
cannot obtain employment or cannot retain it when they have 
obtained it. The only resource left to such people is a life of 
vagrancy, pauperism or crime. Industrial incapacity is sometimes 
physical and sometimes mental. One of the causes of crime is 
that a certain proportion of the population are either physically or 
mentally unfit to take their place in the ranks of industry, and 
resort to a criminal life on account of this defect. Many of the 
mentally unfit are not defective in mental capacity, although a 
certain percentage undoubtedly are. But those who are not 
defective in this respect consist of a class who have had no mental 
discipline, whose will and character have not been developed by 
regular and strenuous habits at this period of life when habits are 
formed, and who are unable to sustain the regularity involved in 
modern industrial conditions. An improvement of the mental 
and physical equipment of the population would remove some of 
the most potent causes of crime. 

Defective parental circumstances are also a fruitful source of 
crime. Children who are the offspring of degraded or dissolute 
parents, and who have lost one or both parents in early life are 
in danger of degenerating into the criminal class. Such children 



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CRIMINAL PROBLEM 47 

are as a^Vu4e deprived at the most critical period of their life of 
parental" supervision and of industrial opportunity. When they 
reach *manhood in many cases they have no definite occupation 
and no industrial habits, and they easily drop down into the* ranks 
of crime. 

It will be gathered from these observations that crime is much 
more a social problem than a penal problem. It is certain that 
whatever changes may be made in the penal law will have compara- 
tively little effect on the amount of crime. Just as most fevers arise 
from defective sanitary conditions so do most crimes arise from 
defective social conditions. The real remedy for these fevers is 
not improved hospital treatment, but better sanitary arrangements. 
The real remedy for crime is not more elaborate methods of 
punishment, but an improvement of the adverse social conditions 
of the community as a whole. The real problem is social, not 
penal; it forms one branch of the great social problem which is 

now confronting; and puzzling the world. 

^ W. D. MOEEISON. 



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48 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

A SOCIOLOGICAL VIEW OF COMPARATIVE RELIGION. 

I. Comparative Religion as a branch of Psychology. 

Although anthropologists of the British School have on the 
whole troubled little to make explicit to their readers or even 
to themselves the precise method of their researches in Comparative 
Religion, there is no doubt that one and all, if challenged, would 
declare that method to be, broadly speaking, psychological. In 
other words, they would profess to be trying to understand the 
religious consciousness, or religious experience, of mankind * from 
the inside,' as the phrase is. Treating ritual, language, organiza- 
tion, and so on, as but the '* outward signs " of an ** inward 
and spiritual '* condition, they seek to penetrate, they would say, 
beyond and beneath these phenomena, by the only available, if 
indirect, means, namely the exercise of sympathetic insight, to 
those subjective factors of which the objective manifestations form 
the more or less loose-fitting garment. Further — though here 
might be found a greater divergence of opinion — religious ex- 
perience would be characterized by most thinkers of this school 
as preeminently of the practical rather than of the speculative 
or mystic type, a mode of the life of purpose and action rather 
than of the life of thought or faith. After all, considering the 
national tendency to emphasize the ethical side of Christianity, 
it is not surprising that the scientific conception of religion should 
echo this pragmatic tone. 

Does the rest of the world agree with the British school in 
regarding psychological and subjective elements as fundamental 
in religious history ? Of course no one in their senses — not even 
a theorist defending a thesis — would deny that subjective elements 
are there to be taken stock of, or that, when taken stock of, they 
have a certain value in revealing ultimate conditions. But a 
profound distrust of the subjective as providing altogether too 
shifting a base for the philosophy of the human sciences exists 
both here and abroad. Indeed, if British anthropologists (from 
amongst whom Spencer may for our present purpose be excluded 
as founder of a distinct school of his own) have acquiesced in 
purely psychological results, might not the reason be that, busy 
with their beloved facts, they have not troubled to look beyond 
the ends of their noses ? Hence, both here amongst admirers of 



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COMPARATIVE RELIGION 49 

the Synthetic Philosophy, and abroad where system is more of a 
cult, determined efforts of all sorts have been made to reduce the 
psychological to its presumed non-psychological and objective 
conditions. Sociological or historical method in general rather 
than the method of Comparative Religion in particular has naturally 
furnished the immediate topic of most pronouncements. Yet it 
would be easy to show that Comparative Religion no less than any 
other of the special departments of Social Science has been seriously 
a£fected by this and that attempt to refer the will and fancy of 
man to causes that transcend the arbitrary. 

To enumerate and classify the multitude of these objectivist 
theories is too formidable a task to be attempted here, but some 
representative views may be cited by way of illustrating, and at 
the same time criticizing, their general tendency. First we have 
the evolutionism of the biological school with its organicist or 
even mechanist analogies, which applied wholesale and uncondi- 
tionally to Sociology have notoriously begotten a mythology. 
When all has been said in favour of the suggestiveness of the ideas 
of such writers as Novicow or Espinas, it remains certain that 
sociological phenomena belong primarily to a plane distinct from 
that of instinct, and admit of specific explanation in terms not 
heterogeneous but appropriate. No doubt there are remoter 
conditions of a biological order that have a certain relevancy. 
To exalt these, however, at the expense of proximate conditions, 
as this school is led by its a priori bias to do, is gratuitously to 
hamper observation and description with a radically false perspec- 
tive. Closely associated with the line of thought is the view of 
such thinkers as Lapouge and Ammon, who make race the 
dominant factor in human development — bl notion which seems 
likewise to underlie the somewhat different work of Gumplowicz. 
But, strictly taken, race is the vaguest and most elusive of 
conceptions, as any physical anthropologist is perfectly ready to 
admit.* The races of mankind, it is plain, are a thoroughly mixed 
lot. If on the other hand race be taken loosely in the sense of 
nationality, it is clear that analysis has not yet said its last 
word. In another category are the economic interpretations of 
Loria and others, this type of theory deriving itself from the 
* historical materialism * of Marx. Distinct, but of very similar 
tendency, is the anthropogeography of Ratzel and his school, a 
method that is rapidly gaining ground in this country. Now 

* Compare, for instaoce, P. Topinard, tflimenU tt anthropologie giiUrdle (1885), 
p. 202. 



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so THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

regarded in themselves such studies, whether of food supply, or of 
soil or climate, in relation to distribution of population and other 
objective matters, are highly important, nay indispensable. 
National character and policy are certainly not to be understood 
apart from the consideration of environing conditions of this 
kind. It is only when, or so far as, they are taken to explain the 
national history to all intents and purposes finally, milieu or 
some prominent aspect thereof being regarded as the determining 
cause of genius itself, that no soundly empirical and tentative 
philosophy of man can bear with them any longer. The trouble 
with all these theories we have reviewed is their apriorism. It 
is assumed offhand firstly, that for all the manifestations of mind, 
individual and collective, there must be an explanation in terms of 
necessary causation of a physical and external type ; secondly, that 
some one cause must be more fundamental than the rest, and 
must therefore be capable of accepting responsibility, as it were, 
for the whole afiFair. But these are but prejudices, begotten it may 
be by a passion for the objective, but nevertheless deserving the 
denomination of subjectivist at its most abusive. As empiricists 
we must work, not from metaphysical fancies, but from facts — 
from that which, as Aristotle puts it, is * better known to us.' 

A defender of these views will retort : *' But granting you 
that instinct and race are somewhat intangible, here in food-supply 
or soil are the very facts you profess to be after. Surely they 
are * better known to us,' because directly presented to the senses, 
than the accompanying subjective states that sympathetic insight 
must indirectly divine." To this the reply is that undoubtedly 
they are directly presented to us as facts; but not as causes. 
Description may well begin from them; it does not follow that 
explanation will end with them. We begin, let us say, by 
describing in objective terms the proportion borne by the agri- 
cultural to the manufacturing portion of the population in this 
country, or its position as a group of islands set over against a 
continent. Is it possible for explanation to deduce therefrom 
without further ado the amount of corn we import or the size 
of our battle fleet? If this seem possible to some, it is only 
because the middle term, a fact of another order, a psychical fact, 
namely the national desire for self-preservation, is tacitly assumed 
as a constant factor in the situation. But nations make mistakes. 
They are capable of ignoring or at least misconceiving the dictates 
of self-preservation. The ' free fooders ' and the ' blue-water 
school ' do not have it all their own way. But what becomes then 



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COMPARATIVE RELIGION 51 

of the * laws ' supposed objectively and necessarily to connect 
preponderance of manufacturing population with the importation 
of grain, or insular position with the command of the sea? They 
turn out to be but laws of the moral type, laws which ought to 
be kept if certain ends are to be realized, but which actually are 
broken as often as these ends are not affirmed by the general 
will. In short, if we are not composing in the slap-dash style 
of evolutionary biology some a priori science of national health 
in general, but are seeking empirically to describe in their detailed 
relations to each other the actual conditions under which the 
historical life of peoples is carried on, psychical factors must not 
only be considered, but specially emphasized. For the peoples 
concerned, and therefore for the observer, the psychical factors — 
this sentiment, that policy, and so on — underlie and condition the 
material factors. If more remotely the psychical factors be them- 
selves conditioned, it is certainly not by the material factors as 
directly presented either to the observer or to those he is observing, 
but by certain transcendent causes somehow discerned by the 
metaphysician at the back of these factors. We may add that 
we have represented the case for objective determinants of an 
economic and geographic^ kind at its strongest, namely where, 
as when food or defence from foes is in question, the psychical 
accompaniments are relatively simple and constant. Where art or 
religion have to be accounted for, material explanations at once 
become palpably incomplete and arbitrary. It is true that we have 
gone for our illustration to a civilized nation where sentiments 
and policies are clearly in evidence. But the primitive tribe has 
its sentiments and even its policies likewise. That they are 
harder to discover does not confer the right to treat them as 
directly deducible from milieu. 

There remains to be considered another group of sociologists, 
the school of Durkheim and his brilliant colleagues of L'Annee 
Sociologiqiie. These thinkers are, or tend to be, objectivist, but 
theirs is a psychological not a materialistic objectivism. Their 
explanations are framed in terms of idea, sentiment, and purpose, 
which is the all-important matter. So long as they do not force 
the psychology to suit their metaphysical postulate of determinism 
— and they shew no strong inclination to do that, a test-case being 
their handling of the association of ideas on sound apperception ist 
principles — there can be no harm in believing, with at least half 
the psychological world, that ultimately the subjective and objective 
orders are at one in a cause-bound necessary series or system of 



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52 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

correlated realities* If they admit the phenomenal existence of 
the contingent in the shape of human purpose, they are welcome 
to disbelieve in its real existence, whatever that may mean. Their 
merit is that they go straight to the facts, objective and subjective, 
of human life as directly or indirectly observed, philosophizing 
as to principles of explanation as they go, that is, as the principles 
are demanded by the actual work of specific and detailed research. 
With these, therefore, the British school of anthropology, with 
its radical empiricism that puts facts before laws and is happy if 
it can see a stride-length ahead in the dark, has no quarrel; 
nay from them it has much to learn. What this school names 
Morphologic Sociale, the study of the exterior conditions and forms 
of social agglomeration, of all in short that a statistical demo- 
graphy should describe, is a branch of investigation to which more 
attention might well be paid on this side of the Channel, as witness 
sundry gaps in the questionnaires our anthropologists are wont to 
circulate among workers in the field.^ But you may have too 
much of a good thing, if the other good things of life are for 
its sake neglected. There are certain signs that Psychology may 
in the long run suffer from one-sided explanations of morpho- 
logical derivation. Thus that most able and thoroughgoing of 
anthropological researchers, M. Mauss, in his Essai sur les variations 
saisonnieres des SocUtis Eskimos ^ goes so far as to claim that 
he has here verified crucially ^ the hypothesis that all the forms, 
including the religious form, of the social life of the Eskimo are 
a function of its material substrata, namely the mass, density, 
organization, and composition of their modes of agglomeration ► 
All he shows, however, is that, if the mode of agglomeration 
changes, the religious custom and so on does as a fact alter. 
Just so in the case of the individual, as the brain-matter is. 
modified, the ideas appear to change ; but surely it does not follow 
necessarily that thought is a function of the brain, if this is to 
mean that thought is the effect, or even the unconditional correlate, 
of cerebration. Yet if it mean less than this, and unknown 
conditions may possibly vitiate the correspondence, explanation: 
is not reached, since we are left with the merely analogical. A 
similar tendency would seem to be the stress laid by the school 
of Durkheim on the objectivity of their method — on the fact that 
throughout they are dealing with * things.' They appear to regard 

1. Cf. VAnnit Sociologique, iz. 138. 

2. Ibid., 39 Bqq. 
8. Ibid., p. 129. 



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COMPARATIVE RELIGION 53 

social phenomena, whether morphological or psychological, as 
objective simply in the sense of independent of individual control. 
Now no doubt the individual often finds himself powerless in face 
of the mass, though the mass is probably in every case moved 
by its ringleaders. No doubt, again, the subconscious nature of 
most popular contagions favours a treatment which verges on a 
mechanist dynamic. But do these writers mean more than that in 
a certain abstract aspect of society mechanism, or something 
psychologically equivalent, prevails? Probably not. But they 
at least show no wish or power (happily for those who have 
profited largely from their researches) to limit their science to the 
study of this abstract element and its conditions — a bare fragment 
at most, suppose it per impossibile isolated, of the vast mass of 
sociological material calling for analysis. The truth would seem 
to be that these thinkers, in reacting against the ideological con- 
structions of the fancy-free anthropologist — a pretender who is 
fast being hustled from the field even in this land of distinguished 
amateurs — have bent the stick over to the other side. By all means 
let us avoid what Bacon calls anticipatio as contrasted with 
interpretatio naturae — the flying to the widest axioms without 
progressively graduated research. But at least let Psychology as 
Psychology preserve its integrity as a kind of bridge-work between 
the objective and the subjective elements of our experience. Let 
no premature abstraction cut up the field into strips before the 
whole has been surveyed. One day, perhaps, social explanations 
may be assimilated to mechanical; or one day, as we incline to 
hope, the very opposite may come about. In the mean time, 
however, whilst so much observation remains to be accomplished, 
let metaphysical questions, so far as they do not immediately bear 
on the exigencies of practical procedure, remain open. In parti- 
cular, let necessity and contingency be treated as complementary, 
though antithetic, bases of explanatory construction in dealing 
with a human experience that, in despite of logic, empirically faces 
both ways at once and together. 

II. Comparative Religion as a branch of Social Psychology. 

There seems, then, to be good reason to respect the British 
tradition which ordains that Psychology must preside over the 
investigations of Comparative Religion. It remains to make 
explicit what anthropologists of the British school have hitherto 
recognized but vaguely, that a Social, not an Individual, Psycho- 
logy can alone be invested with this function. 



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54 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

The ordinary Psychology bases itself on the assumption that 
this soul of yours or mine is something individual. There can be 
no great harm in this if individual here mean no more than 
self-complete. What is fatal, however, is to take it — ^as is often 
done by inadvertence — in the sense of self-contained. It is 
absolutely necessary to assume with common sense that souls can 
communicate — by indirect means, let us say, putting aside the 
question of the possibility of telepathy — ^and that by communi- 
cating they become more or less complementary to one another 
in a social system. For certain limited purposes, however, 
Psychology has found it convenient to make abstraction of the 
social dimension, as it may be termed. In so doing it can never 
afford for a moment to forget that it is dealing with what, being 
highly abstract, it is safest to term a fiction — to wit, a soul 
stripped of ninety-nine hundredths of its natural portion of soul- 
life. Herodotus^ tells how King Psammetichus of Egypt caused 
certain infants to be isolated and in their inarticulate babbling 
sought for the original tongue of man, with results more satisfying 
to himself than to a critical posterity. Such an incubator-method, 
as it may be termed, is by no means to be despised in certain 
psychological contexts. As is well known, the instincts of new- 
born animals have been distinguished by precisely this means. 
So, too, in a somewhat similar if less exact way the psychologist 
who merely observes having made abstraction of the pabulum 
provided by society together with such effects on the mental 
digestion as may be traced to the particular nature of the food, 
may pay exclusive attention to the digestive apparatus which the 
individual is supposed to bring with him to the feast. But apply 
this incubator-method to the origins of language, of law, of morals, 
of religion, and how is the fallacy of Psammetichus to be escaped ? 
Yet on all sides this application is being made. To take but the 
case in which we are primarily interested, namely that of religion, 
what is commoner, than to imagine a religious instinct, inherent 
in our individual nature, that out of itself by a sort of partheno- 
genesis bears fruit in the shape of historical religion ? Or if the 
stimulus to religion is thought of as coming not so much from 
within as from without, from God by revelation, or from the 
world by the awakening of awe at its marvels, it is still the 
self-sufficient individual who is thought of as the subject of the 
experience. An example from a neighbouring field is the claim 
of various anthropologists to be able to deduce the phenomena 
1. Herodotus, u. 2. 



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COMPARATIVE RELIGION 55 

of magic from the laws of association as they work in the individual 
mind. And yet that very incubator-method which is here parodied 
and abused might have taught these all too simple theorists their 
mistake. We cannot, perhaps, isolate an infant after the example 
of Psammetichus, and watch to see whether proprio motu it not 
merely talks but prays. We might, however, transplant the infant 
from savage to civilized surroundings, or, for the matter of that, 
might reverse the process. With what result ? Would a young 
totemist notwithstanding evolve in the one case and a young 
Christian in the other? Or would not the child acquire the 
religion of its adopted home, of the society that rears and educates 
it ? Even when full allowance is made for the fact that each child 
reacts on its education in individual fashion, can there be the 
slightest shadow of a doubt that the supreme determining influence 
must rest with the social factor ? 

If religion, then, is pre-eminently the concern of a Social, 
and not an Individual, Psychology, in what sort of shape will 
its natural laws or tendencies be exhibited? It has just been 
pointed out that a religion is so closely bound up with a particular 
organization of society that to abandon the one is to break with 
the other. May we, therefore, go further and say that a religion 
is identical with a particular organization of society, that it is a 
social institution ? Certainly not, unless we are speaking loosely. 
We must say that the religion is materialized, incorporated, en- 
shrined, in the corresponding institution or group of institutions. 
Perhaps an analogy may be drawn (though analogies are always 
dangerous if pressed) between a religion embodied in a social 
structure and a piece of literature, the work of many hands, 
consigned to a manuscript. In either case the one depends for 
very existence on the other, yet they differ as spirit from outer 
form; and the spirit is to a greater or less extent functiohally 
independent of the form, since often it palpably governs it, stamps 
it with its own pattern, makes it the instrument of its own intent. 
Bad literature, indeed, will conform itself to the manuscript; just 
so many pages are wanted; the scribe must not be troubled to 
rewrite. And so bad religion enslaves itself to the outer form, 
truckles to a usage that imposes bounds, becomes fossilized to suit 
its ministers' convenience. Judged by which test, it must be 
admitted, there is a vast amount of bad religion in existence. 
Nevertheless world-literature and world-religion at their best and 
most typical are by no means the hacks of publishers and priests. 
In view, then, of the functional independence of the spirit, that 



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S6 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

is, the ruling meaning and purpose, of historical religion at its 
most essential, its laws or tendencies must be described in terms 
appropriate to spirit, in terms of meaning and purpose. A Social, 
no less than an Individual, Psychology is concerned, primarily 
and directly, with soul only. 

But at once the question occurs : Whose soul ? Whose spirit ? 
Whose meaning and purpose? For those who recognise the 
possibility of a Social Psychology, there can be but one answer. 
Primarily and directly, the subject, the owner as it were, of 
religious experience is the religious society, not the individual. 
Now the subject of psychical states and processes as conceived 
by Individual Psychology is in no small measure abstract and 
fictitious; and there is no harm in this abstraction so long as 
Individual Psychology knows what it is about and does not claim 
substance for its shadow-pictures. It remains to add, in fairness, 
that Social Psychology too has to operate on a figment — a figment 
which it is the business of Sociology to exhibit in its true nature, 
namely, as a methodological device of an abstract kind. Suppose 
we wish to explain the totemism of an Australian tribe. There 
is only one possible way to do this appropriately and essentially, 
namely to describe its general meaning and purpose by means 
of what Seignobos would call a formute d*ensemhle.^ Do we 
thereby commit ourselves to the assertion that this meaning and 
purpose exist? Most certainly yes in a sense. For whom, then, 
do they exist in this sense? Not for the individual tribesman 
taken at random, nor even for a leading elder, but for the society 
as a whole. It is absolutely necessary, if we would avoid the 
psychologist's fallacy, the mistake of letting our own feelings mix 
with what has to be impersonally observed, that we should fix our 
eyes throughout on the meaning and purpose totemism has, not for 
us, but for them, and for them not as so many individuals but 
as a group. Totemism is one of those psychical effects of 
intercourse which are methodologically, that is, for the working 
purposes of our science, specific. In terming such effects specific, 
however. Empirical Psychology implies no more than that they 
feel, think, and act in society otherwise than if apart, in a degree 
and to an extent deserving careful discrimination. It does not 
pronounce, because it has no methodological interest in pro- 
nouncing, on the metaphysical question whether, as common 

1. Cf. Langloui et Seignobos, Iwtrodwftum mix HwUi histari^es^ 1896, p. 244. 



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COMPARATIVE RELIGION 57 

sense inclines to hold, a society as such has no self-contained 
unitary soul, or, as Green and Bosanquet would affirm, the general 
will belongs to a collective soul of another and higher power than 
this soul of yours or mine. 

Social Psychology, then, would appear to be immediately 
concerned with the soul-life of this abstraction or figment, the 
social subject. It is the business, however, of Sociology, under- 
stood as the general philosophy of the social sciences, in which 
capacity its concern is with method rather than results, to remind 
Social Psychology of the abstract and conditional nature of its 
findings; since it is notorious that in science one is apt to 
hug one's pet abstraction so devotedly that one's fool's paradise 
comes in the end to be mistaken for the real world. Sociology, 
therefore, will do well to insist that, in dealing with such a subject 
as religion in the concrete variety of its historical manifestations, 
Social Psychology should qualify its results by making allowance 
for those of an applied form of Individual Psychology on the one 
hand, and for those of Social Morphology on the other. 

Thus in the first place, though its interest is primarily in the 
social subject, Social Psychology must never for an instant ignore 
the qualifying fact of the existence of the individual subject. We 
should be very far from the truth were we to suppose that the 
savage society as such assigns any consistent meaning and purpose 
to its totemism, or, for the matter of that, were we to impute 
consistency of view and intention to the most intelligent and 
organic religious society the world has ever known. Souls com- 
municate, but always imperfectly. They are always more or less 
at cross-purposes and cross-meanings. It is well to remember 
this when we feel inclined to deify society, the collective intelli- 
gence, the public conscience, the spirit of the age, and the like. 
Objectively reviewed, no doubt, society dwarfs the individual, 
such is the impressiveness of its sheer mass and momentum. 
Subjectively considered, however, society compares badly with the 
best individuals. The social mind is not merely hazy but even 
distraught, whether we look at it in its lowest manifestation, the 
mob, or in its highest, namely the state. At its best it is the 
mind of a public meeting, at its worst it is the mind of Babel. 
It is pointless to retort that society is always right. Society is 
always actually right (until physical catastrophe occurs), in the 
sense that whatever happens happens. But it does not know 
and will the ideally right, the right that is not actual but to-be- 
actualized, to anything like the same extent as do the best in- 



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58 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

dividuals. So much is this the case that the historian of civiliza- 
tion, when he seeks to render the inwardness of some development 
or movement, will be tempted to abandon the strictly social 
standpoint for another which may be termed the standpoint of 
the representative individual. Thus how describe the spirit 
of the French Revolution? Socially, it is a seething mass 
of cross-currents. In a representative individual, say Rousseau, 
at least we can distinguish the general set of the tide. At the 
level of primitive culture, however, where representative indivi- 
duals are not easily met with, where, to our eyes at least, one man 
is very like another, the social method, the method of the composite 
photograph, may and must have the preference. Yet Social 
Psychology cannot afford to forget that the individual members 
of a primitive society find it extremely hard to communicate 
successfully with each other, to understand what they are severally 
or together after. Hence there is a danger of ascribing a psychical 
tendency to a social movement where there is none. The very 
word tendency is ambiguous. It may stand for a drifting together, 
which is physical, or for a pursuing or at least a groping together, 
which is psychical. The latter kind of tendency is the only 
one that concerns a Social Psychology as such. If therefore the 
collective mind of a savage society is asserted to mean and purpose 
this or that, proof must be forthcoming that there actually is 
something of a mutual understanding to this or that effect; and 
it will always be wise to make allowance for the possibility of 
alternative interpretations in regard to even the most firmly rooted 
custom, as well as for the possibility of interference on the part 
of that bugbear of Social Science, the individual who has a view 
of his own. 

A second qualifying circumstance to be constantly borne in 
mind when working from the notion of a social subject or collective 
mind is one that is likely to appeal more strongly than the other 
to those who are in sympathy with Continental sociology. This 
is the fact already alluded to that social meanings and purposes 
exist mainly as embodied in social institutions. We have claimed 
for the former at their best and most typical a certain functional 
independence that entitles them to be dealt with as phenomena 
essentially psychical. At the same time this independence, it is 
clear, can never be absolute; whilst often it is purely titular, the 
form, a thing in itself wholly soulless and material, ruling in the 
place of the spirit. Moreover, religion in particular would seem 
of all the spiritual activities of man the most subservient to form ; 



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COMPARATIVE RELIGION 59 

ritual is religion's second nature. Hence a Social Psychology 
must beware lest in religion or elsewhere it pretend to find 
living purpose where there is none or next to none. The organism 
may be lying dead in its shell. Or, as is the commoner case, 
whilst the shell persists intact, the original owner may have disap- 
peared, and in its place another more or less inappropriate and 
alien tenant have crept in, to the confusion of honest naturalists 
unpractised in detecting sports. Nay, to pursue the metaphor, the 
empty shell may harbour quite a crowd of such casual immigrants. 
Bad religion is quite capable of saying : This is what you must 
all do; but each may think as he likes. Now it is perhaps the 
most characteristic feature of civilization that it encourages the free 
meaning, giving it the power to dispense, not indeed with form 
altogether, but with this or that form whenever it is found to 
hamper. But primitive culture is form-bound through and 
through. A proof is the extreme difficulty with which ideas travel 
from tribe to tribe. So integrally are they embodied in the tribal 
customs that apart from those customs they are but empty 
ineffectual ghosts of themselves. No wonder that many a socio- 
logist says in his haste that they are the customs, neither more 
nor less. But Social Morphology cannot rightfully thus supersede 
Social Psychology any more than grammar can supersede logic. 
Yet Social Psychology must work with Social Morphology ever at 
its elbow. Let us remember that social purposing has a psychical 
nature of a very low order, especially when, as at the level of 
savagery, it is not continuously fed by contributions from the 
minds of enlightened individuals. The policy of an enlightened 
individual may be said to start from some more or less definite 
character, mental disposition, or whatsoever we like to call it. 
At least we cannot get behind this, however well-informed we may 
be as to the man's heredity and milieu; for us there is in greater 
or lesser degree spontaneous origination, a fresh cause to be 
reckoned with. All this is far less true of the action of a society 
as such. Nevertheless, in a civilised society genuine originators 
are to be found amongst the prophets and leaders and other repre- 
sentatives of the social tendency to progress, who, apart from their 
personal contribution to its furtherance, stand as vouchers for the 
diffused presence in the community at large of the power to 
originate by conscious and reflective means. Turn, however, to 
primitive society, and self-caused ideas as moving forces are but 
rarely to be met with. Instead, we are for the most part thrown 
back on mental processes of the lowest order — ^say, Tarde's ** cross- 



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6o THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

fertilization of imitations," or something equally crepuscular in 
its psychical quality. Meanwhile, lest we civilized observers lose 
our way in these regions of mist, there before our eyes stands the 
rite, objective, persistent, of firm outline; and, however much we 
desire to psychologize, we are bound to cling to it as our make- 
shift standard of reference. Nor is our convenience the only 
excuse for working round to spirit by way of form. For the 
savage society likewise the rite forms a sort of standard of refer- 
ence. Out of it proceed the random whys; back to it go the 
indecisive therefores ; and at this the common centre the meanings 
coalesce and grow ever more consistent, so that at last, perhaps, 
they react as one systematic idea on the supporting custom, and 
may henceforth rank as an originating psychical force of the higher 
order. Since, then, it falls to the lot of the social morphologist 
to describe the rite as externally presented, his ways and those 
of the social psychologist can never lie far apart at the level of 
the lower culture. And, even if the latter has a distinct and from 
the human standpoint a higher task, at least he must check his 
account of the tendencies of the social mind by constant use of 
the data provided by his colleague. 

To sum up. Comparative Religion is a branch of empirical 
science which aims at describing in formulas of the highest generality 
attainable the historical tendencies of the human mind considered 
in its religious aspect. Its method will primarily be that of a 
Social Psychology; since it will work directly from the implied 
or explicit notion of a social subject, to which the tendencies it 
describes will be held to belong essentially. The use of this 
method will, however, be qualified throughout by a secondary 
attention to the methods of two allied disciplines, namely Individual 
Psychology and Social Morphology. On the one hand, allowance 
will be made for the effects of the indirectness and imperfection 
inherent in the communications of the individual members of 
society with one another, as also for the results of individual 
initiative. On the other hand, there will be taken into account 
the influence on sentiments, ideas, and purposes of social forms 
and institutions in their external character as rallying and trans- 
mitting agencies, or again as agencies that fossilize and pervert. 

R. R. Marett, 



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VIEW OF HISTORY 6i 



THE SOCIOLOGICAL VIEW OF HISTORY. 

That great and profound investigator, Hippolyte Taine, after 
writing works upon the Human Intelligence, the History of 
English Literature, the Philosophy of Art, and the origin of 
contemporary France, explained once that all his vast and 
miscellaneous literary activity could be summed up under the head 
of **applied psychology." Man was regarded as the product of 
three factors, the race, the milieu, the moment, whose operations 
could be disengaged and dissected, and as the characteristics of 
different ages and civilizations were condensed in certain types of 
human character, so those types could be known through their 
expression in the medium of art, literature, or politics. The 
author of the Cortegiano might be taken to illustrate the social 
structure of the Italian Renaissance ; the hard, pedantic, morality 
of the Jacobin was reflected in Robespierre, its mad blood-thirsti- 
ness in Marat, its rough unscrupulous vigour in Danton; a 
delicately finished Teniers implied the climatic, economic, and 
social forces which have built up the national genius of the Dutch. 
The scientific spirit which animated Taine, and which prompted 
him to recommend a young Oxford historian to begin his training 
under Charcot at the Salpetrifere rather than under Meyer at the 
Ecole des Chartes, was carried a step further by a passionate 
disciple, who treated the evolution of literary forms upon biological 
lines, and considered the history of French lyrical poetry as a series 
of stages in the development of the self-conscious ego. M. 
Brunetifere's attempt to discover scientific laws for the most intimate 
deliverance of the human soul has not been generally regarded as 
successful, but the influence of the master is undiminished by such 
vagaries. Not long ago that eminent scholar, Emile Boutmy 
produced a work upon the psychology of the English People, 
which attributed the lyrics of Shelley and the democratic Imperialism 
of Mr. Chamberlain to the humidity of our climate, its want of 
distinct outlines and bright colours. Few branches of enquiry 
appear to be more attractive to the French intellect than applied 
psychology. 

I am not competent to express an opinion as to whether the 
science of psychology is in a sufficiently advanced condition to 
bear all the drafts which sociologists are likely to make upon it. 



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62 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

It is clear, however, that sociology presumes some psychological 
analysis. Sociology is the science of human society, and human 
society is composed of men acting upon one another in all 
kinds of ways in virtue of their characters and volitions. 
Some investigation into the operation of the human mind is 
therefore essential to the sociologist, whether the object he has 
in view be to describe society in general, or some particular 
force, such as imitation, acting in society, or the motives which 
produce the phenomena of political obedience or the laws which 
govern social development; and it is becoming increasingly 
recognised that the attention of the enquirer must be directed not 
only to the psychology of individuals, but to the psychology of 
crowds, and to the psychological states produced by the aggregation 
of men in urban centres. ** There be thoughts," wrote F. W. 
Maitland, "which only come to men when they are tightly packed ;" 
and the psychology of the Stock Exchange still awaits its Walter 
Bagehot. Valuable results may no doubt be obtained in any one 
of these branches of enquiry without a profound study of Wundt 
or Munsterberg or William James ; but some working hypotheses 
there must be, and the more thoroughly these hypotheses are tested 
by observation, the more valuable the results. Brilliant examples 
of the application of common-sense psychology to the field of 
social enquiry may be cited. There is Walter Bagehot's English 
Constitution, Tarde's Lois de Timitation, Mrs. Bosanquet's Rich and 
Poor. It is, perhaps, the most important service of the novel 
that, exploring as it does the infinite combinations of psychological 
casuistry, it tends to educate a curiosity in human character as such 
and to exhibit the psychological forces which work in society. 
Portraits of Balzac and Tolstoi ishould hang in any gallery 
dedicated to the pioneers of social science. 

Lord Acton tells a story of a Pole, who being sent to prison 
without any books, began to write a philosophy of history. We 
have now given up writing philosophies of history, and, indeed, 
there is none better than the earliest, Lessing's Education of the 
Human Race. I do not mean to deny that Comte made an impor- 
tant observation when he remarked that Society has progressed 
from a religious to a metaphysical and from a metaphysical to a 
positive stage, or that Hegel shot a lucky arrow of conjecture when 
he put rationality at the end instead of at the beginning of social 
development. Able men with a wide view of things often make 
new epochs, and suggest whole libraries. But it must be under- 
stood that these general statements are not laws, but summaries of 



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VIEW OF HISTORY 63 

recorded facts; that they give no ground for prediction, possess 
no character of necessity, and are only true if they are supported 
by evidence. There is not the least reason for supposing that if 
a community of human beings supports life upon a distant planet 
it will go through Comte's three stages, even if we admit — ^and it 
is a large admission — that the progressive society of Europe has 
gone through them. Nor can a statement based upon some general 
historical teaching without reference either to the question of per- 
manent psychological needs, or to biological conditions claim to 
be adequate. The natural history of the Christian Science move- 
ment — one of the most interesting of the fields recently opened to 
sociological enquiry — suggests a defect in one quarter, and if it be 
true that biological conditions favour the survival of Roman 
Catholics, because amongst other things John Stuart Mill's 
Political Economy is on the Index, and indiscriminate breeding is 
encouraged by the Roman Church, then there will soon be another 
rent in the great Positivist generalisation. Indeed, there is some 
ground for thinking that the most valuable generalisations come not 
from the professed philosophers of history, but from the historical 
specialists who go to their work with open eyes and hospitable 
minds. Maine's famous summary of the stages of Ancient Law 
may not be exactly true of all communities, and we know that in 
England at least there was legislation mixed up with the earliest 
Code, but it throws an enormous flood of light upon the operations 
of the human mind, the limitations of primitive sovereignty, and 
upon the way in which human beings have regarded the social 
organisms of which they are part. Maitland's '* Domesday Book 
and Beyond" is a treatise of a technical kind upon Anglo-Saxon 
Law and Society; but it has done more to overthrow the myth 
that early institutions are simple, than the ambitious guess of 
Hegel, to which it gives the weight of its support. Instances 
could be multiplied almost indefinitely, from Guizot who explained 
the contribution of the Teutonic Races to European civilization, 
from Savigny who showed law to be part of the organic growth of 
a community, from Gaston Paris who exhibited the mythopoeic 
faculty at work in the Legend of Charlemagne, or from Robertson 
Smith who penetrated into the soul of the Religion of the Semites. 
Everyone who has read much history is made sensible of the 
extreme complication of human affairs and of the difficulty of 
framing any large proposition to which exception may not be 
taken. The element of chance, of **conjunctur," as the German 
economists call it, is so large, and the more closely we look into the 



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64 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

tangled intermixture of biographies which is termed history, the 
more difficulty we feel in framing the kind of condensed statement 
which is ambitiously termed a sociological law. The sociologist 
on the other hand has been apt to treat history somewhat cavalierly. 
Mr. Herbert Spencer warns us indeed against the error of 
supposing, with Comte, that there is such a thing as Humanity 
independently of the men and nations who compose it; but after 
delivering this monition, he is content to ignore almost the whole 
course of human history. He collects some facts about savage 
tribes, he casts a glance on the nineteenth century. The inter- 
mediate process appears to him to be irrelevant. And yet it might 
be supposed that a science of Society should include a knowledge 
of the stages through which society has passed, and of the 
various forces, physical, moral, intellectual, which have produced 
the successive social transformations of which history is witness. 

There is, indeed, a view of the scope of sociology which 
precludes such an appeal to experience. It has been argued by an 
able French writer, M. Fouill^e, that as the science of hygiene is 
concerned with the social conditions making for the maximum of 
physical well-being, so the science of Society should be essentially 
normative, concerned that is to say primarily with ends and only 
secondarily with means contributing to those ends. The function 
of the sociologist is to state the conditions which make for social 
justice and social well-being, to give an answer to the question 
** How best can justice and well-being be realised in society." To 
this end he must operate chiefly with two sciences, the philosophy 
of law which explains how distributive justice is best secured by 
legal enactment, and the science of political economy which shows 
how society may obtain the greatest amount of wealth and the most 
equitable distribution of it. But since societies in order to be just and 
prosperous must first live, the sociologist cannot neglect the general 
laws of life. He finds that society is an organism possessing an 
alimentary system, a directing power, and distributive agencies 
corresponding respectively to the stomach, brain, and blood-vessels 
of the individual; and the biological analogy provides certain 
normative precepts which may be of value to the politician. It 
has, however, to be confessed that there is some disagreement 
among sociologists as to what the precise political lessons of 
biology may be ; for while some hold that they poi n t to a monarchical 
organisation of society, others on the other hand, like M. Fouill^e 
himself, declare that 'liberalism is the legitimate conclusion of 
biology when applied to politics." 



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VIEW OF HISTORY 65 

It is obvious that such a scheme as this, ignoring as it does 
many of the objects which men deem to be precious, such for 
instance as art, cannot be regarded as satisfactory. It is equally 
clear that in a purely normative view of social science, historical 
enquiry has a place, only so far f s the validity of the general pre- 
cepts is held to be conditioned by fa«./tors, such as national character, 
which have been shaped by time and experience. This, however, 
is a large exception. As soon as the economist begins to allow 
for ''friction," he admits the complexity of experience and makes 
way for the historian. As soon as the jurist declares that the 
societies have prospered equally under different rules of inheritance, 
let us say primogeniture or partition, and that each system 
possesses an adequate sanction in the moral feelings of the 
society which supports it, we are clearly in the presence of an 
historical problem which must be weighed by the statesman who is 
considering the advisability of changing the law to which his society 
has been accustomed. Even, therefore, on the most severely 
practical interpretation of the sociologist's duties, there is room for 
historical enquiry. Indeed, without such, the practical counsels 
are worthless. 

There is a particular kind of sociological investigation, which 
has not, I think, yet been pursued with anything' like scientific 
exactitude, in spite of the fact that John Stuart Mill recommended 
it half a century ago. I refer to the natural history of national 
traits. There is a good deal of vague theorising about national 
characteristics, and a few, but none too many, books on compara- 
tive law and institutions. But I do not know of any single treatise 
which may be called thorough and exhaustive upon such a matter 
for instance as the French view of the Family. It is, indeed, 
common knowledge that the French view of family life differs from 
our own, that parental power is more pronounced in France than in 
England, and that there is an institution known as the Conseil de 
Famille, which has no counterpart on this side of the Channel* 
Nor do we, who read so many excellent French novels and see so 
many excellent French plays, ignore the part played by the 
** manage de convenance '* in the economy of French life. That a 
whole nation should continue to observe the political view of 
marriage, which we are even surprised and somewhat shocked to 
see surviving in the circle of our Royal Family, is a fact which 
seems to the ordinary British citizen an indication of deficiency of 
sentiment, and a patent cause of perennial domestic calamities. 



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66 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

What then is the source of this curious phenomenon, this group 
of habits and sentiments, which exercises so profound an effect on 
French society ? A nation famous for the clemency of its jurymen 
cannot be accused of hard-heartedness. The home of medieval 
chivalry and the principal source of the Crusading movement 
cannot be accused of a narrow exclusive devotion to material gain. 
Nor can the secret be found in any special facilities for dissolving 
the marriage union if unhappy, since divorce was not legalised in 
France till the Revolution. To write an adequate answer to the 
question would demand years of labour. 

My own attention was first directed to this particular problem 
by a study of the references to the Lettres de Cachet which is found 
in the Cahiers or statements of grievances drawn up by every 
organised body of men in France during the elections to the States 
General in 1789. It struck me as curious that while everybody 
was united in denouncing the power of arbitrary imprisonment, a 
great many cahiers petitioned, that if the Lettres de Cachet should 
be abolished, some other means should be found by which the 
authority of the family might be maintained. On looking into 
the matter further, I found that these Lettres de Cachet, which 
committed men to prison instantly and without any trial, formality 
or public advertisement of the fact, were at least during the later 
half of the Eighteenth century issued mainly at the request of 
parents who wished to shut up some member of their family from 
whose unsoundness of mind, fractiousness, or vice they 
either experienced discomfort or were likely to suffer shame. 
Indeed, when the Parliament of Paris petitioned in 1756 for the 
abolition of this arbitrary power of detention, it was told that the 
Lettres de Cachet were chiefly preserved **to save the honour of 
families." The power, in other words, which the autocracy of the 
French crown put at the disposal of any head of a family during 
the Ancien Regime, was strictly analogous to that which the Code 
Napolton lodges in the Conseil de Famille. It was more arbitrary, 
it was more unlimited, it was more irregular ; it was the source of 
monstrous and exaggerated acts of parental despotism; but it 
was the product of the same group of feelings as prompted the 
petitions of 1789 and the lawyers of Napoleon's Council of State. 
And it is one of the most substantial elements in the French social 
consciousness at the present time. 

There is an extraordinary passage in Cato which describes the 
Celts as pursuing two things with immense industry, arms, and 
clever oratory; and this ()assage, taken into connection with a 



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VIEW OF HISTORY 67 

number of acute observations in Caesar's De Bello Gallico, pro- 
duces an impression that time and circumstance have done little to 
change the characteristics of the Gallic race. Whether national 
characteristics are fixed or alterable is one of those problems which 
has always been vaguely discussed without making much sub- 
stantial advance : Provisonally, however, we may lay down the 
thesis that physical conditions affect human character, and that a 
change of physical conditions, such for instance as would be 
affected by the introduction of wide-spreading or chronic malaria 
is certainly capable of affecting a change in the psychology of a 
whole people. Whether it has actually done so in any given case, 
Greece, for instance, is a matter which could only be decided after 
elaborate investigation. But it is clear that no prejudice in 
favour of the fixity of natural characteristics ought to stand in the 
way of a close or open minded investigation of national psychology 
as revealed in the successive phases of history. If the result in 
certain instances be to report **no substantial change** this will not 
be conclusive for all instances. No race is more perdurable than 
the Jew ; but usury, with all that it implies, was the result of 
Christian persecution ; and the Inquisition which exterminated the 
fairies in Spain — is cause as well as consequence of a certain austere 
unimaginative rigour in the religion and art of the Iberian races. 
Sometimes the most unlikely historical cause will produce effects 
which the unlearned observer might be tempted to refer to some 
original quality in the national psychology. Henry II. of 
England, with an eye to judicial profits and animated by a shrewd 
apprehension of the truth that good justice is more attractive and, 
therefore, more lucrative than bad justice, contrived to make his 
Royal Court effective and supreme. The result was that the royal 
Judges, administering a common system on a common plan, 
extended the rule of primogeniture, which properly belonged only 
to tenure in chivalry, to other tenures as well; and this achieve- 
ment of our first Angevin King, resulting as it did in the generali- 
sation of the custom of primogeniture, which in turn has exerted 
no little influence on English colonisation, has really more to do 
with Mr. Chamberlain*s democratic imperialism than the defective 
sunlight of our befogged island, or those delicious half lights 
which have driven our poets to introspection and our proletariat 
to alcohol. " 

For such reasons as these the student of the natural history of 
the French family will not rest content with an unexamined refer- 
ence to certain fixed aboriginal traits in Celtic psychology, how- 



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68 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

ever strong may be the reason for supposing that the psychology 
of the Celts has suffered less change than the psychology of some 
other nations. He will ransack not only the Coutumes, which 
embody the family law of the Ancien Regime, but the chronicles 
and memoirs, which exhibit the living organism of French family 
life; the poems, the stories, the sermons, and the tracts which 
reveal the moral ideas of the French from age to age. Nor will he 
neglect the external and, as it may seem, fortuitous elements of 
history, the invasions of the eighth and ninth century which 
dissolved the mechanism of the Empire and threw political power 
and responsibility into the hands of the holders of military fiefs, 
the need for cavalry warfare which necessitated primogeniture; 
the slow growth of the royal power and the correspondingly 
jealous retention of what, for lack of a better name, may be called 
the feudal habit of society, a habit making for local and family 
autocracy, intense family pride and persistent hostility to the 
intrusions of the royal jurisdiction . The extent to which the absence 
of state-supported asylums for lunatics may have played a part in 
this curious chapter of history ; the influence of Roman law ; the 
diffusion of autocratic ideals from the Papacy and the Monarchy 
downwards, not to speak of a whole train of economic forces^ 
would require most careful attention. We have a suspicion that 
in the end it would be found that in this, one of the most essential 
particulars of national life, the French are the most conservative 
people in Europe. 

A series of studies conducted upon such lines as these would 
do a good deal of clear up the neglected science of ethnology^ 
which is, I take it, not indeed co-extensive with sociology, but an 
important and interesting department of that science or rather 
aggregate of sciences. In any case it is indisputable that more is to- 
be gained at the present moment by such specialised study than by 
an attempted synthesis of the laws which have governed or govern 
human society in general. But in speaking of such studies as 
these as specialised, we are using a phrase which may create a 
false impression. The sociological enquirer who enters the 
historical field must use as many categories as possible. To 
explain an institution, a sentiment, a custom, he must be jurist, 
historian, moralist, economist, equally prepared to find the impor- 
tant secret in some obscure and technical piece of medieval 
procedure, in a malady or a drug, or in the incalculable intrusion 
of some decisive personality. 

The history of comparative law and institutions is another 



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VIEW OF HISTORY 69 

branch of enquiry whicb may properly be called sociological. It 
should be observed, however, that the terms compared are not 
entirely separate and unrelated facts but phenomena sprung from 
a common source, part of a common process, obedient to a large 
extent to common laws and subject to mutual interactions. 
Civilization is one fact, of which the laws and institutions of the 
separate civilized races are so many different manifestations. 
Thus the growth of representative government in Europe during 
the middle ages is not only conditioned by the general social, 
economic, and intellectual forces of the age, such for instance as 
the medieval theory of monarchy, the organisation of the indus- 
trial classes in guilds, the survival of old Teutonic liberties, but 
also by the special conditions which affected constitutional develop- 
ment in each of the European countries. A study of comparative 
institutions will therefore have to take account not only of the 
special national conditions, but also of the general conditions 
both those which belong to the common stock of human psycho- 
logy and those which are the special features of contemporary 
civilization. And these institutions the sociologist will be 
specially concerned to exhibit as dependent upon social states or 
as illustrative of national psychology. Thus if he institutes a 
comparison between the history of representative institutions in 
France and England, he will mainly concern himself with the 
influence of social structure upon political mechanism. He will 
remark that in England there was a strong, rural middle class, 
while in France there was a yawning gulf between noble and 
peasant ; that in England centralization came early, that in France 
it was long delayed; that in England the Teutonic common law 
obtained a complete, in France only an incomplete ascendancy; 
that in England there was legal unity, while in France there were 
nearly three hundred customs. Public institutions, in other words, 
will not be regarded as detached pieces of mechanism, but as 
exhibiting one of the many ways in which the social consciousness 
finds expression .The perspective will be somewhat different from 
that employed in the ordinary historical text-books, since the 
epochs will be marked not by the deaths of kings nor by any such 
redistribution of weights as may be the result of the shifting play 
of political parties, but by the entrance of new social forces, and 
by the successive modification of the organs of government 
rendered necessary by industrial and social progress. Thus the 
real English Revolution occurs not in 121 5, nor in 1640, nor in 
16S9, l^ut in 1832, 1867, and 1884, when a constitution adapted to 



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70 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

an agricultural state was by successive stages expanded under the 
stress of an industrial revolution, to admit merchants and trades- 
people, artisans and ploughmen, to control the destinies of the 
nation. 

One of the most important aspects of the study of comparative 
law and institutions is what may be called the natural history of 
Transplantation. Grafts as it were from institutions, laws, ideas, 
are borrowed, planted in alien places, where they take root and 
grow; but the plant is very different from the parent stock. 
Sometimes the process is effected as the result of violent conquest, 
sometimes as the result of colonisation or intermarriage, sometimes 
it is the effect of slow unconscious assimilation, sometimes of 
sudden and deliberate borrowing. The influence of physical 
inventions upon human imitativeness has no doubt been enorm- 
ous. Printing and photography, the steam engine and the electric 
telegraph have rendered conscious and unconscious imitation much 
easier than it was in the middle ages. Just as illustrated Trade 
journals diffuse a knowledge of new mechanical improvements, 
so hardly a country embarks upon a political departure without 
consulting the experience of its neighbours. On the other hand, 
historical studies and political experience have fortified the 
national self-<:onsciousness, and supplied nations with an apparatus 
of tests, some of them operating in such an automatic way as to 
be instinctive, by which they may know whether a particular 
foreign institution is likely to suit them or not. There is, so to 
speak, a natural limit, formed by historical, psychological, and 
political conditions, to the borrowing power of nations. No 
nation, for instance, has ever willingly abandoned its own language 
for another, nor has any religion succeeded in establishing itself 
without violence, in a country to which it was originally strange, 
without assimilating some of the customs and beliefs of the 
invaded people. The example of Japan seems, indeed, to 
show that the receptivity of a nation may be much more elastic 
than could have been supposed a priori. The limits to Japanese 
receptiveness require, however, careful study, and it is possible 
that the lapse of a few generations will show that the mere 
appropriation of the material conquests of the advanced nations, 
when unaccompanied by the pain and labour of acquiring them, 
does not necessarily involve any deep transformation of national 
character. A systematic enquiry into the interaction of Eastern 
and Western life, would help to clear up our ideas as to the limits 
within which transplantation has taken place or is capable of 



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VIEW OF HISTORY 71 

doing so. The success of Christianity in the West, and the 
astonishing manner in which not only the character of the 
Founder of the Christian Religion, but also the teaching of the 
early Christian Church has become transformed **in the climate 
of Roman Law," should suffice to warn the enquirer that moral 
ideas possess a penetrating power which the most complete 
opposition of civilization is sometimes unable to withstand, 
however much it may do to transmute and adapt them. On the 
other hand, it is a matter of common observation that without 
a conducting medium, such for instance as was supplied to 
Christianity by Hellenism, moral or religious movements of 
the highest degree of intensity may die away without communicat- 
ing any part of their impetus to alien nations. Accordingly, the 
circumstances which give to any idea, habit, impulse, creed or 
institution the quality of transferability, is as much a matter for 
consideration as the natural history of the idea, habit, impulse, 
creed, or institution prior to and subsequent to transplantation. 
It is reasonable to suppose that in view of the extraordinary state 
of things in Japan and America, the attention of social investiga- 
tors will be directed in an increasing measure to this group of 
problems; that economists will write monographs on the 
Japanese banking system ; that lawyers will study the dissolving 
influence of English legal conceptions on Indian society; that 
our political psychologists will discuss the ethical and psycholo- 
gical implications of American democracy, while our biologists 
will report on the effects of the racial intermixture in the United 
States upon the physique and morale of the American people. 
In this, as in other directions, no advance can be made without 
close observation and specialised study. Why is it that some 
race mixtures succeed, while others do not, that the union of 
German and Slav, for instance, produces fine results while the 
union of German and South American Spaniard produces poor 
ones, that intermixture has been prosperous in England, the 
reverse in the Levant? Or again, in virtue of what qualities or 
historic accidents have certain languages, such as French, 
obtained a wide diffusion, and therefore a power of communicat- 
ing thoughts and habits which for want of such a medium might 
have had a narrowly circumscribed influence, while other lan- 
guages, apparently not less capable of answering the needs of a 
refined society have enjoyed a comparatively obscure or provincial 
destiny? To what causes again should we attribute the different 
working of representative institutions in North and South America ? 



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72 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

What are the sociological lessons to be learnt from history as to the 
effects of the juxtaposition of races differing from one another in the 
scale of or in the capacity for civilization? An endless series of 
questions presents itself, each one of which requires an answer 
based upon minute historical enquiry. 

It was one of Mr. Lecky's contributions to social history to 
point out that though the contents of the moral consciousness 
remain much the same from age to age, the emphasis laid upon the 
virtues is subject to frequent change. Now it is courage, now 
humility, now self-control and balance of mind, now active bene- 
volence which is the subject of the highest commendation and the 
chief prize of ethical effort. And as the scale of the virtues alters 
from age to age, so it alters from place to place. A history of 
morals must clearly take account of these conditioning circum- 
stances of time and place, and not proceed upon the assumption 
that there is such a thing as Man in general whose ethics may be 
discussed without reference to the century in which he lived, the 
place in which he was born or the society of which he formed a part. 
While the ethical philosopher interrogates the contents of his 
own ethical consciousness the sociologist who wishes to explore 
social development upon its ethical side will find himself called 
upon to read legal records for the moral minimum insisted on by 
any society at any given time, as well as those sources from 
which he may hope to discover the ideals of the best members of 
society. The actual practice of the majority of the nation will 
fluctuate between the moral minimum set by the penal law and 
the moral maximum revealed in the utterances of poets, preachers, 
or social reformers; and it will be just this actual practice or 
average common-place view, which will be most difficult to fix 
with precision. On the whole, perhaps, the best way to under- 
stand the history of national morals is to study the history of its 
criminal law, not because such a history gives a full view of the 
whole subject, but because it gives a clear view of part of it. The 
history of criminal law enables us to understand the attitude 
adopted by society as a whole towards those parts of human 
conduct which it has decided to regard as anti-social; it bears 
witness to the gradual strengthening of the social consciousness, 
and so enables us to measure, not indeed the whole extent of its 
advance, but those stages along the line of moral progress which 
are regarded as most essential to the common welfare. It is 
probable that the supplementary information necessary to obtain 
a fuller view of moral progress can be most safely obtained from 



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VIEW OF HISTORY 73 

a carefully selected representative collection of autobiographies or 

biographies. What a world of light is thrown upon the moral 

ideas of the Arabs at the time of the Second Crusade by the 

wonderful autobiography of Ousama? or upon the moral state 

of England under Charles II. by the diaries of such men as Pepys, 

Evelyn, and Fox I A single anecdote is sometimes sufficient to 

illuminate a whole r^ion of ethical feeling. 

I have said nothing so far about the savages, not because I 

wish in any way to minimise the importance of the results which 

may be obtained from a study of savage morals and savage 

institutions. In the face of our anthropologists, Buckle could 

hardly persist in his negation of the reality of moral progress; 

and the evidence collected by anthropologists is beginning to work 

wonders in the hands of our most intelligent interpreters of 

Hellenic religion. But though the study of these very rudimentary 

and stationary societies may throw light upon primitive ideas and 

emotions, it does not in itself disclose that portion of the primitive 

consciousness which has been an operative force in the evolution 

of the progressive nations. But this is just what it principally 

concerns the student of society to know. Anthropology is to the 

sociologist what archaeology is to the historian, a valuable 

auxiliary, supplying amidst a mass of irrelevant, because unin-<> 

fluential, detail, some hints of living and shaping influences, but 

no adequate account of their operation. Such an account can only 

be obtained by studies which belong to the realm of history ; and 

it is, therefore, upon the importance and interest attaching to 

investigations which are popularly called historical, that I have 

laid my stress in this paper. 

H. A. L. Fisher. 



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74 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 



DISCUSSIONS. 



L The Survey of Cities. 

The problem before the student of Cities is obviously of the 
greatest complexity. Amid such vast and varied centres, such a 
crowded phantasmagoria of life, how shall we agree upon any 
orderly methods of observation and description, such as that 
required in each and every department of science ? How shall we 
compare our observations and generalise them ? And if we here 
or there reach some penetration of analysis, some generality of 
view, some depth of insight, how are we even to communicate our 
ideas to each other in adequately scientific terms ? Yet how many 
are interested in the observation of their own and other cities? 
How many must have speculated on the resemblances and 
differences among these, or at least discussed their respective 
qualities and defects? How many, too, and in all countries, are 
awakening to deal with the practical tasks of Citizenship, ever 
increasingly pressing as these are ? Never since the ffolden times 
of cities has there been so much interest, so much gooowill as now ; 
it is the riffht moment, therefore, and surely in a Socioloc^ical 
Society and Journal, if anywhere, to raise the question : How 
best can we set about the study of Cities? How organise if 
possible, in each, in all, at any rate here and there among ourselves 
to begin with, some such common understanding as to the methods 
as are needed to make observations at all, and to compare and 
generalise them? 

As regards the description of Cities there are vast materials in 
literature; travellers and geographers, archaeologists and historians, 
artists and art-critics, are all available to us. From Herodotus to 
Gibbon, from Pausanias to Schliemann and Arthur Evans, or 
from John Ray to Ruskin, indeed to the latest writers, there 
is no lack of help towards visualising cities, whether past or 
present, nor even of entering into their life, be this buried or no. 
The present unparalleled wealth of illustrated monographs, the 
activity of the daily Press, the availability of Murray and Baedeker, 
are alike bringing the consciousness of our own city and of other 
cities more and more fully into being. It is surely time, therefore, 
for Sociologists — that is for all who care for the advance of science 
into the social world — to be taking counsel as to the ways and 
means of bringing an increasing order into all this growing 
accumulation of knowledge. 

We are not entitled as yet to postulate any but the very 
simplest and common elements of knowledge, much less of 
accepted belief or doctrine; our experiences of cities are still too 
personal and individual, and are, therefore, so far isolated and 
uncompared. Still less can we assume any common ground or 
starting point towards action, for all manner of regional and local 



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SURVEY OF CITIES 75 

circumstances isolate us ; differing interests and divergent tendencies 
divide us also. How then can we proceed towards proving a 
scientific study of cities to be practicable, even towards making this 
general, as it must obviously become, if our comparisons are to 
be fruitful, our generalisations safe ? 

Here plainly is no easy problem ; it has largely occupied the 
writer's life these twenty-five years or more, in constantly renewing 
endeavours towards finding some adequate method of approach 
towards its solution. Historic cities, actual cities, incipient towns 
or cities, great or small, have each in turn promised to yield their 
secret ; museums and galleries with their treasures of the past, local 
and international exhibitions with their encyclopaedic presentments 
of the activities of the present, even Utopias of the future, have 
each suggested some clue to the city's labyrinth. Geographer 
and historian, economist and aesthete, politician and moralist have 
each been utilised as guides : here the optimist, there the 
pessimist has seemed the truer. Sometimes, too, it has seemed 
that it must be by the fullest detachment of purely scientific 
outlook, or in seeking to devise the needed Civic Museum, that the 
synoptic vision of the City must be reached; yet again, through 
other years, the hope has seemed more fruitful of attaining this 
through participation in the many-sided life of actual Citizenship. 
Now the statistical method has seemed to be the fundamental one, 
in its development from Quetelet to Booth ; again the fundamental 
occupations, the family unit, and family budget, with Le Play; 
and so on : hence it is only of late years that he has been able to 
reach even such imperfect outlines towards a study of cities as are 
to be found in the three volumes of * 'Sociological Papers." 
Acceptance of these cannot be assumed from the present reader, 
nor even knowledge of them : it is best, therefore, within these 
limits of mere preliminary suggestion especially, to start afresh, as 
the Sociological Society is itself doing, with its newly formed 
**Citie5 Committee." Without here entering into that general 
discussion of municipal organisation, of social life and betterment 
which is bringing forward the city problem everywhere, and making 
the scientific study of cities increasingly urgent, it may be enough 
here, for the present, to indicate some of the main practical steps 
which have led up to the formation of this Cities Committee. 

I. Like other professional bodies, the Museum Curators of 
Great Britain have their Annual Congress : this took place in 
Dundee this year. Having listened to the natural and proper 
lamentations of the curators as to the deficient support of their 
institutions, and to various expressions of their anxiety to 
increase public interest accordingly, the writer threw his paper 
into the form of a practical proposition, which may be summed 
up somewhat as follows : — 

You lament that you have not sufficient funds adequately to 
maintain your Museums and still less to increase them. Is it 
not needful to discover some way adequately to advertise your 
institutions— (of course properly and legitimately, in due 
curatorial fashion) by making them interesting to a larger pro- 
portion of your community ? At present your antiquities attract 
only the antiquarians, a dwindling class. Thus you have here 
your admirable City history collection, your town in 1800, 



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76 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

1700, 1600, 1500, and yet beyond, to the primitive Celtic hill 
fort or its Roman transformation; and this does naturally 
attract the antiquarians. But the value of this collection depends 
upon each of these exhibits having had actuality in its day. It 
is its authenticity which gives its interest. Why should this 
collection now lack actuality in our day ? Why no adequate 
exhibit of this city in 1900, in 1907 ? Why not give it this, and 
add to your Museum of the Past a corresponding exhibit of the 
Present? How can this be done? Easily. See for instance 
Booth's ** Life and Labour in London " with its great map ; see 
the corresponding surveys of other cities, York, Manchester, 
Dundee, and the like. Do something of the same for each city 
now. Obtain more pictures and photographs, of its present 
beauty, and ugliness; obtain statistics and other particulars 
from the Town House, the registrars, and so on, so that any 
and every active citizen shall henceforth find in your Museum 
the most ready and convenient place for getting up all he wants 
to know about his city. In this way your Museum will gain a 
new set of frequenters, each a future friend, for you will soon 
find that you can count on their support and that increasingly. 
Nor is this all you can do; besides the few antiquarians and 
the many more practical men, who are interested in the past and 
the present respectively, you have a third class, small, yet 
important and increasing, those who are beginning to dream of 
the future. These wish to see some progress in their town, some 
actual betterment, the cleansing of its slums, the erection of new 
buildings and institutions, the supply of open spaces, and 
above all, the planning of its future extensions — its practicable 
Utopia — Eutopia in fact. Add, therefore, to your Galleries of 
the Past and of the Present a third room, or at least a screen or 
two for this concrete exhibition of your City's Future, and you 
will thus bring to the Museum a third and new class of suppor- 
ters. Hence, even if you do not care for your City, if you do 
not feel any impulse of citizenship, consider this proposal as at 
least of a new attraction, a legitimate form of public appeal, and 
see whether it does not before long reward you to carry it out. 

This proposal, almost in so many words, was warmly 
encouraged by the President of the Congress, and was actively 
discussed at a special meeting, at which a large number of the 
Museum Curators of the United Kingdom spoke warmly in its 
favour, and decided to see what could be done towards carrying 
this out for their own cities in their Museums. The preceding 
proposal applies to Libaries and Librarians, no less than to 
Museums and Curators. How then are we as sociologists to 
aid in this movement as well as to learn from it ? Is it not time 
that curators and sociologists were joining hands to discuss 
methods as well as to collect materials, and thus in fact form in 
and for each particular city, as well as in the greater centres — 
say the three national capitals at least, and perhaps also the 
main regional ones — a Cities Survey Committee. 

II. Next, since there is to be a section of Social Science in 
the approaching Franco-British Exhibition 1908, may we not at 
once widen our proposed co-operation a step farther? Given 
Museum and Libraries, with collections illustrative of the past 



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SURVEY OF CITIES 77 

of their cities, of their present, and sometimes even of the 
incipient future, might they not send the Franco-British 
Exhibition a characteristic exhibit, condensing this threefold 
view of their towns? French cities , too, would generously 
respond, even with a greater wealth of interesting matter than 
our British industrial cities can as yet supply. 

Thus would arise the beginnings of a '* Cities Exhibition,*' 
the germ of a future "Towneries," of great interest in itself and 
of course provoking innumerable comparisons and suggestions. 
Representatives of different cities would be curious to come; 
they would speak and write about this when at home, and thus 
interest in and knowledge of cities would be popularised. 

III. To the **Town Planning Congress," at the Guildhall, 
on October 25th, 1907, the writer was appointed a delegate of 
the Society. After the Lord Mayor's initial benediction and 
the Chairman's official introduction, the opening to the discus- 
sion was given by Councillor Nettlefold of Birmingham, a 
leading; authority and impulse among members of British 
municipalities upon this subject. He opened with a survey of 
the Acts which have been passed since Lord Shaftesbury's first 
Housing Improvement Bill in 185 1 — twenty-eight in little more 
than half a century. 

Being next called on to speak, as a delegate of the Sociolc^- 
ical Society, the writer limited himself to urging one point, 
namely, that if 28 Bills had admittedly been insufficient to 
meet the evils of our towns, it was surely time that this 29th one 
should take the geographical and social sciences into its counsels, 
unless it were to have its insufficiency demonstrated in its turn 
like, its predecessors. Even the Town Planning information 
from Germany and the like which Mr. Horsfall and others are 
so admirably supplying is good, but not definite enough. 
Designs from other cities are convincing in some ways, yet 
inapplicable; like the diagrams with which Mr. Ebenezer 
Howard, a few years ago, explained his ideal of a Garden City, 
but which are now usefully superseded by actual and local plans 
at Letchworth and Hampstead. 

Again, most who speak and write of the planning of our 
towns have not before them the needful materials, first of all an 
adequate collection of maps. Let us begin at least with (i) the 
Reform Bill Atlas of the English towns in 1832 with their 
Parliamentary boundariies indicated, and with the similar atlas 
of the Scottish towns. Next, (2) set beside these the maps of those 
towns a generation later, in i860 — 1870, when the industrial 
expansion was in full swing; and again, (3) maps of towns in 
our own day. Here, then for each town and city in the land, is 
an exhibit alike of local and of general interest, which shows the 
expansion of two generations, the improvement, and still more 
frequently, the mischief which has been done. Is it not needful 
that before planning new suburbs, we should have before us a 
comprehensive survey of this kind ? 

Again, on what principle are we to plan? It is good to 
have maps of recent German improvements, but we cannot 
simply copy these; each city is, or should be, a unique and 
individual growth, an organic development ; its extension is not 



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78 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

simply a mechanical addition, it is not simply a matter of 
material accretion, however much the last patch be better than 
the old garment. 

Finally, it was suggested that this Town Planning Congress 
should not disperse without leaving, among its permanent 
results, an impulse towards the formation of a Cities Survey 
Committee. This would attract and supply Town-Planners 
with the basis of knowledge which they require, and help towards 
civic interpreations as well. It would advance positive opinion 
in every city, and be of great use in London also. Might not 
only the Sociological Society, but other bodies. Geographical, 
Statistical, Architectural, &c., all become interested in the 
formation of such a Committee, in which their particular 
interests should be duly represented ? 

These proposals found cordial approval. A large number 
of the leading workers in the subject put down their names at 
once as willing to join such a Committee. 

IV. In course of further discussion it was agreed to report 
progress to the Council of the Sociological Society, to ask them 
to form a Cities Survey Committee and arrange, if possible, for 
the co-operation of other bodies and the co-optation of individuals 
likely to be interested. After consideration of the methods 
required for such a study of Cities, and for arranging these as 
far as possible in orderly and similar ways, yet with due 
regard to the many-sided individuality of each, it was suggested 
that a more general meeting might be held, at which the case 
for City Surveys might be stated and the suggested methods 
submitted, the results of existing surveys such as those of Mr. 
Booth and others might be brought together and set forth, the 
case for city surveys stated, and the methods discussed. The 
usefulness and need of such surveys would also become more 
apparent, and fresh beginnings perhaps made towards extending 
these, to representative towns and cities throughout the land. 

V. This proposed Cities Survey has now been fully discussed 
by the Council of the Sociological Society, who accordingly 
resolved at their meeting of December, 1907, to form a ** cities 
COMMITTEE to promote the Survey and Investigation of Cities, 
and the Study of Civics.*' 

This will be concerned with the geographical and historical 
development of Cities, with their industrial and other present 
conditions, with their advantages and defects, and with the 
conditions of their future development. 

For this purpose it will endeavour to advance the Study 
of Cities, in the first place by promoting Civic Exhibitions, of 
plans, pictures, and other illustrative material dealing with past 
and present conditions, and prospective betterment. For this 
purpose it will communicate with the members in other cities 
including the various constituent cities and boroughs of 
London, and with curators of museums, librarians, directors of 
Schools of Art, and others likely to be interested, who may 
thus act as sub-committees, correspondents, etc. 

It will seek to promote the formation of Civic Museums 
and to advance the teaching of civic history and duties 



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UNEMPLOYED ACT 79 

independently from party politics. It will act with Associa- 
tions for City Betterment of all kinds, and will also co-operate 
as far as practicable with the organisers of exhibitions, con- 
gresses, pageants and other endeavours having an educative 
value towards the awakening of civic consciousness. 

This "Cities Committee*' may be thus taken as entering 
upon its activities with the present year 1908 ; and its scheme of 
work and actual endeavours will be reported from time to time 
in this Journal. Members of the Sociological Society and 
others interested, either in the survey of any particular town or 
city, or in the investigation as a whole, are accordingly invited 
to communicate with the Convener, Cities Committee, Socio- 
logical Society, 24, Buckingham Street, Strand, W.C. 

P. Geddes. 



II. The Unemployed Workmen Act in 1906-7. 

There has recently been issued by the Local Government Board 
a report on the administration of the Unemployed Workmen Act 
during the year ended March 31st, 1907. The report deals with 
the proceedings of 29 Distress Committees and the Central 
(Unemployed) Body in London, and 89 Distress Committees in 
provincial districts. Of the latter, however, thirteen — Cardiff, 
Coventry, Gateshead, Huddersfield, Merthyr Tydvil, St. Helens, 
West Hartlepool, Aston Manor, Barnsley, Chatham, Heywood, 
Stockton-on-Tees, and Rhondda — took no action during the 
period covered by the return. Three more — ^Tynemouth, West 
Bromwich, and Sheffield — though a small part of their activity 
of the previous winter continued into the beginning of the period, 
were practically inoperative, and did not open their registers in the 
winter 1906-7. Others registered men only for emigration — 
Walsall — or for supply to private employers — Derby, Middles- 
brough, Preston, Warrington, Hornsey, Northfieet, Wallasey — 
or, after registering a very small number of men — Rochdale, 
Middleton, Gorton, King's Norton, Northfieet, Nottingham, 
Handsworth — thought it unnecessary to take any special steps for 
dealing with them or providing them with work. The need for 
the Act has apparently been felt very unequally in different parts 
of the country. 

The following table shows the number of applications received 
and entertained : — 

Na of No. of No. of Applicfttlons P«ro0Btaf» 

CkwimltteM EaUmftted ▲pplioattons entsrteinod oftoUl 

taklnff PopnUtioB reoaivedto oolamiii446 

Piooaodiiifi. aMeV MMr.81,lQ07. Applicuiti. I>eiMiidoBti. to PofmlAti'B. 
12 8 4 6 6 

London... 29 4,721,217 28,181 i3>070 37*656 ri 
Provinces 76 10,528,850 58,820 47*346 Ii5,i45 i'5 

105 15,250,067 87,001 60,416 152,801 1-4 

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8o THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

The corresponding figures for the year preceding were as follows : 

No. of Naof Ko. of AppUmitfoBt Fwrnafge 

CommitteM Ertlmftted AppUcfttions enfeortalnod. of total of 

taJdBff PoDQlatioii nod^wlto oolaniiii4 46 

PiooeMUnga. (IMfi) Kur. 81, 1908. AppUoMiti. Dope&dontc toPopulaU'n. 

12 8 4 6 6 

London... 29 4,684,794 39>728 23,838 69,038 20 
Provinces 85 — 7i>i07 49i979 130,927 i'6 



114 — 110,835 73,817 199.965 17 

It will be seen that the number of applications, though con- 
siderable, is a eood deal lower than the estimates of distress 
sometimes made by applying to the whole working population the 
** unemployed percentage '* calculated by the Labour Department 
from the returns of certain trade unions. The proportion of 
unemployed applicants to the occupied male inhabitants of the 
districts concerned is given at 2*4 per cent, in 1905-6, and 1*9 per 
cent, in 1906-7. The percentage of unemployed members in all 
trade unions making returns to the Labour Department was 5*4 
in 1905, and 41 in 1906, so that the differences would remain 
very considerable, even if, as should be done, the number of trade 
unionists receiving unemployed benefit in these districts was 
deducted from the occupied male population before the comparison 
was made. 

It will be seen also that the total number of applications fell off 
from 110,835 to 87,001, or 215 per cent. Both the diminution, 
however, and the proportion of applicants to population varied 
greatly from one district to another. In London the number of 
applicants for every 1,000 of the population ranged from 24 in 
Hampstead to 11 '6 in Bermondsey; outside London, taking only 
districts which had registers open during the winter 1906-7, it 
ranged from 0*3 in Gorton to 22*0 in Edmonton. The following 
table shows the Distress Committees in three groups : — 

fwoentacvof 

theM ApplioAot* OhMigopor 



Mr 1000 

AppUouit* providad Appllouitt of PopulftUoa Na In 
10064. nithworiL 1006-7. 1806-7. 1806-6. 

18 8 4 6 

29 Metropolitan Distress 
Committees 39>728 238 28,181 60 -291 

10 Distress Committees 
in Outer London* ... 13,931 55'2 i5>322 121 +100 

All other Distress Com- 
mittees 57.176 34*0 43.498 47 -239 



110,835 373 87,001 57 -215 

The proportion of applicants to population is twice as high 
in the London suburbs as in London itself, and more than twice 
as high as that in the rest of the country. Moreover, while 

♦Croydon (6-4), West Ham (16-2), East Ham (12-), Homsey (2-9), Edmonton (22-0), 
Erith (81), Leyton (7-4), Tottenham (20-2), Walthamstow (10'6), Willesden (11*2). The 
bracketed figures give the number of applicants per 1000 of the population. 



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UNEMPLOYED ACT 8r 

applications have in the aggregate diminished between 1905-6 and 
1906-7, they have actually increased substantially in these suburban 
districts. Another remarkable result is that, whereas the improve- 
ment of trade and employment which should explain the decrease 
in applications, has, according to other indications, been less felt 
in London than in the North and Midlands, the decrease of 
applications has actually been greater in London (29*1) than in the 
provinces (23*9). 

In this connection column 2 is rather suggestive. The 
proportion of assisted applicants to total applicants in 1905-6 
was, owing presumably to the practice of giving larger spells 
of work to each individual lowest in London — 23'9 per cent.; 
next came the provincial committees, with 34*0 per cent.; and 
highest the suburban committees, with 55'2. This is also the 
order of the three groups according to rapidity of decrease. The 
fi^roup which assisted fewest men in 1905-6 shows the greatest 
falling off of applicants in 1906-7; the group which spread the 
benefits of employment relief most widely in 1905H6 shows an 
actual increase of applicants in the following year. Here is a 
possible influence to be considered in addition to that continued 
depression of the building trade which would naturally affect these 
districts most severely. 

In London only three districts — Bermondsey, Poplar, and 
Woolwich — had as many as 10 applications per 1,000, or i per cent, 
of the population, as opposed to 11 districts in the year before. 
Outside London there were, in addition to the six suburban areas 
included in the note to Table C, only five such districts — Brighton 
(i5'6). Great Yarmouth (i2'4), Hastings (ir6), Norwich (i3'4), 
and Dartford (12*4). The seasonal character of employment in the 
first three — each of which was in the same position in 1905-6 — is 
apparent. 

The age distribution of the applicants whose cases were enter- 
tained is given in the following table : — 



Under 20 
20 — ^30 .. 
30—40 .. 
40—50 .. 
50—60 ... 
60 & over 



Percentage < 


:>f Total at all Ages. 




London and 


London. 


Provinces. 


23 


3-8 


251 


26*4 


336 


284 


249 


231 


".3 


I3'3 


2-8 


50 



This table shows a very large percentage of the suitable applicants 
as still under 40. On the other hand, the number of applicants 
at each age group in relation to the total population in that group 
obviously increases. The unemployed are constantly recruited from 
those who fall out of regular work after their first youth. 

Of the 87,001 applications 60,416, or nearly 70 per cent., were 
entertained as those of workmen suitable for assistance under the 
Act. It is obvious, however, that in coming to decisions on this 
point the Distress Committees acted on very various principles and 
that the classification of men as suitable and unsuitable is of little 



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82 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

value. Of those whose cases were entertained 36,280, or 60 per cent., 
are stated to have been found or provided with work. The work was 
usually of a rough description, such as making and repairing 
roads, sewerage work, work on pleasure grounds and open spaces, 
snow clearing, and street cleaning, laying gas mains and tramway 
tracks. The Central (Unemployed) Body made an experiment in 
reclaiming land by the repair of a river wall at Fambridge, and 
acquired also, at a cost of about ;^35,ooo, a farm at Hollesley Bay, 
on which men were trained with a view to their settlement on the 
land. One provincial Distress Committee — West Ham — ^also 
established a farm colony, and two or three others rented land on 
which to employ men in works of cultivation. 

As to the output of the men employed, very few exact figures 
are available. In Birmingham and Portsmouth the value of the 
work done by the unemployed is estimated at a third of that which 
would have been done under normal conditions. In Blackburn 
and West Ham the additional cost of the unemployed is put at 
about 30 per cent. In a good many others the work is simply 
stated to have taken longer or been more expensive. The quality 
of the work is less criticised than the quantity. A good many 
committees declare the quality to have been quite up to the 
standard. 

The quality of the men may be judged partly from their 
industrial classification, partly from the remarks upon their work. 
According to each indication the casual labourer plays a very large 
part. Over 50 per cent, of all applicants are entered under this 
heading directly, and a very large proportion of the remainder, 
appearing under the building trade or ** other occupations," are 
no doubt of substantially the same industrial class. West Ham, 
out of 3,058 cases, had only 47 skilled and regular artisans, and 
another 632 irregular artisans or irregular labourers; over 60 per 
cent, of the whole were casual labourers, and 14 per cent, were 
vicious or incapable, mentally or physically. At Nottingham 
** a considerable majority of the men registered never have had, 
nor are likely to have, regular employment." In London the 
predominance of the casual labourer is particularly marked. Only 
in Woolwich do the discharges from the Arsenal appear as an 
exceptional disturbing factor, which may be most closely paralleled 
in the provinces by the displacement of boot and shoe operatives 
through new machinery at Leicester and Kettering. 

Nearly everywhere also there is mention of depression in the 
building trade, exceeding apparently the usual winter slackness. 
Whether this is due to cyclical fluctuation of trade or must be 
ranked with the displacements just mentioned as the permanent 
results of some new process is one of the points most needing 
determination. 

The information contained in the Report suggests the following 
main conclusions : — 

First, in view of the marked localisation of the evil, there 
is obvious danger of aggravating rather than reducing it by 
measures of assistance which may tend to retain labour in 
places where it is no longer needed. There is a consequent 



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UNEMPLOYED ACT 83 

necessity of accompanying any such measures by others facilitating 
the removal of men from congested areas. 

Second, in view of the tendency of districts in which most 
assistance has been given one year to yield a disproportionate 
number of applicants next year, it may be doubted whether the 
operations under the Act have to any large extent the efifect con- 
templated by the Act. Their effect in producing reliance on relief 
work appears to outweigh their effect in carrying men over an 
exceptional depression to a new period of regular employment. 

Third, a very large part of the problem clearly consists in the 
prevalence of casual employment, and cannot be profitably treated 
along the lines of temporary relief work at all. 

W. H. Beveridge. 



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REVIEWS. 



THE PRESENT POSITION OF SOCIALISM. 

" PiCTURBS OF THB SOCIALISTIC FuTURB." By Eugene Richtfer. Cheap 

Edition. Swan Sonnenschein and Go. 
"An Ezposurb of Socialism.'' By Max Hirsch. Livesey and Co. 

Price 2d. 
" An Enquiry into Socialism." By T. Kirkup. Longmans. 4/6 net. 
"Capital." Vol. II., "Thb Procbss of Circulation of Capital." By 

Karl Marx. Swan Sonnenschein and Go. 10/6 net. 
" Socialism and Socibtt." By J. R. Macdonald, M.P. 2/- net. 

From the Sociologist's point of view the theories of modern Socialism 
may be regarded as many-sided expressions of a very vital social impulse. 
This impulse manifests itself in individuals of every class and kind; it 
takes, therefore, innumerable forms, ranging from crude and selfish 
discontent with material limitations of enjoyment, up to a pure and lofty 
spiritual idealism. It finds expression also in innumerable theories, 
ranging from the simple economic socialism, which aims at more equal 
distribution of satisfaction, up to a complete social creed, based upon a. 
new moral and spiritual view of all the great issues of social life. But,, 
whatever the form and whatever the expression, it is always an impulse 
of revolt. To call it progressive is perhaps to beg a big question ; but 
there is at least one progressive attribute common to all people who are 
deeply moved by it. They are impatiently critical of those obstacles to 
progress which are inherent in established and accepted conditions,, 
methods and systems, — in an economic system, and the principles under- 
lying it, in a social S3rstem and the institutions wrapped up in it, in an 
authoritative code of social ethics or conventions, in established dogmaa 
of religi<5n, philosophy, or social science, in conventional canons of art or 
of dress, of medicine or of diet. It is clear also that the impulse is in no 
sense a new one ; it is directly inherited not only from the early socialista 
of a century ago, such as Godwin, Hall, and Thompson, but also from 
their more " respectable " opponents, the philosophical radicals of the 
type of James Mill and Bentham. For it is no more paradoxical to trace 
back the general Socialism of to-day to atomistic individualists like the- 
latter, than to trace the socialist economics to Adam Smith and Ricardo. 
But to-day the impulse jostles against new conditions and complexities, 
and is therefore expresed in new ways. And the difficulty of grasping* 
the drift of the impulse ties in the variety and extent of the criticisms to 
which it gives rise. Economic criticism is conunon to all socialists, no 
doubt ; and all insist on the principle of organic social control in the* 
interest of the common good. But by no means all have any real quarrel 
with the family or with religion ; fewer still are revolutionaries in morals ; 
and only a very few have connected their Socialism at all with radical 
criticism in art, philosophy, or the detailed conduct of life. 

Now it is characteristic of such an impulse to be — at first — ^far more^ 



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REVIEWS SS 

destruotive than oonstructive. From this two results follow. First, its 
strength lies in its attacks and criticisms rather than in its suggested 
ideals. And this for a simple reason. If we strain the language of Comte 
a little, we may say that the socialist criticisms belong to the positive stage 
of thought, because they are detailed, concrete, and real ; whereas the 
ideals, or the formulae expresing them, are still in the metaphysical stage. 
This may seem startling to those who imagine that they give a quite 
positiye meaning to such phrases as " social ownership of the means of 
production," " the right to the whole produce of one's labour," " equality 
of opportunity," and the like. But it is literally true that such catchwords 
stand for mere lumps of unanalysed abstraction, and are of comparatively 
little value for positive and constructive work. In the second place, it 
follows that the opponents of Socialism, — those who express the force of 
conservatism in any obvious form, whatever their political label may be, — 
are driven in their turn to justify their position by counter-attack upon 
the would-be positive ideals of the Socialist, instead of by defence of the 
existing order, econ<Nnic, social, or ethical. And they, too, are exposed 
to the same criticism as the Socialist. Their attacks are detailed, real 
and concrete ; but their defence, when they are forced to make it explicit, 
rests once more upon unanalysed metaphysical phrases. " Liberty," 
" Free Competition," " Sanctity of Family and of Property," may pass 
muster at a political meeting or in the daily press, where rhetoric alone is 
needed. But for purposes of serious argument they are useless — ^with the 
colossal uselessness that results from the metaphysical taint. 

Here the anti-Socialist may retort that his principles at least are 
expressed in the positive language of fact, for they are the principles 
actually at work in the present process of industrial and social life. But 
the retort is a dangerous one to use, and if insisted upon will compel the 
user to abandon his catchwords for good and all. Whatever the working 
principles of our system may be, they are certainly not Liberty nor free 
competition nor sacred property rights at all, in any intelligible form; 
but a strange amalgam of privileges, shifting restrictions, and progressive 
but unprincipled social interference and control. The most effective attack 
ever made upon a Liberty and Property Defence League came from a 
thoroughgoing individualist, — Grant Allen; and the pith of it was that 
such leagues are always false to their titles, so long as existing privileges 
and limitations of freedom are the real objects defended. 

But the Socialist may also complain that his ideals have been made 
positive and real in the hands of a Morris or a Bellamy, a Bebel or a 
Blatchford. But once again the argument is a dangerous one, for it is 
just these partly-detailed expressions which give the anti-Socialist his 
opening. It is the logical analysis of what the metaphysical ideal involves 
that lands the Socialist in absurdity, — ^the penalty necessarily paid for the 
ntketaphysical statement of a policy. ' 

This weakness of the Socialist ideal may b^ illustrated by reference 
to any of the detailed attacks made upon it. Take, for example, Eugene 
Richter's " Pictures of the Socialistic Future," now published in a cheap 
English edition. The book is an account, by a clever satirist, of the 
ordinary concrete happenings which might be expected to follow from the 
institution of the Socialist ideal as a working system. The argument 
underlying the satire is somewhat on these lines: — If Socialists really 
mean what they say by " social ownership of all means of production " and 
the rest of it, then they must logically mean that the State is to be absolute 
owner and controller of every productive agent, — from a steam-engine or a 



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86 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

shop to a journalist's pen and brains and a doctor's ability and time. And 
if '' equality " means anything, it must mean not only equal shares of all 
'' quantities " (of incoming satisfaction), but also equal shares of all 
qualitative differences inherent in different satisfactions. Here is room 
for fun-making with a vengeance I And the writer proceeds with delightful 
gravity to describe the absurd consequences, — the hopeless attempts to 
'' equalise" satisfactions by incessant lotteries; the ridiculous results of 
"community'' of food and work, of doctrine and of opinion; the rigid 
limitation of working-hours — which forbids a doctor to save a patient's 
life after the clock has struck, lest he should be guilty of over-production 1 
It is all excellent fooling, — ^and quite logical ; and tli^ premises chosen are 
not entirely a caricature of the Socialist doctrines. True, the change " to 
Socialism " is supposed to happen in a day, Society suddenly taking off 
an individualist coat and putting on a Socialist one. But this amusing 
assumption is hardly worth cavilling at, for the book is really one to laugh 
over ; and the Socialist reader will and can laugh with the rest. Indeed, 
he will laugh far more heartily than some of his humourless opponents ; 
for it is only the latter who can take the satire seriously enough to 
assert (as some reviewers have done) that it is a complete answer to 
Socialism ! And yet, grotesque as it is, such satire has a real sting in it, 
and will continue to sting just so long as Socialists continue to use their 
fine-sounding formulae without infinite qualification. 

A better example of detailed attack is afforded by Mr. Max Hirsch's 
'' Exposure of Socialism," — a short series of lectures given in Australia 
three years ago and now being widely circulated in this country. Mr. 
Hirsch is far more serious than Herr Richter; but the validity of his 
arguments turns on the same use of the same premises. He takes the 
proposals of Socialists as they stand, and fallows them to a logical 
conclusion. This furnishes him with a target which it is easy to hit, — 
namely, a state of society, in which all competition and all markets being 
abolished, no test of the value of goods or of labour remains; all 
independent choice of work or way of life being abolished, a bureaucratic 
tyranny is supreme; all motive (in the sense of differential material 
rewards) being abolished, nobody cares to produce, invent, or create more 
than he is compelled ; and, finally, absolute equality and community being 
established, the family goes to pieces and the " dreary raiment " of a drab 
monotony takes the place of all progressive differences. Who could help 
riddling such a dunmiy with the shafts of criticism? It is so easy that 
one feels sorry that Mr. Hirsch has not done it better. He goes out of 
his way most unnecessarily to overstate his own case. Like Richter, he 
makes the specious mistake of regarding Socialism as " a new and untried 
system " ; unlike Richter, he introduces some very peculiar economic views : 
can he really be serious when he asserts that the value of every worker's 
day's work is now settled "with unerring certainty by free and equal 
competition?" And, most foolish mistake of all, he is rash enough to hint 
at his own alternatives to Socialism; and they are — the total abolition 
of privilege, equal access for all to the inexhaustible storehouse of nature, 
and equal rights and opportunities I Truly this adversary has roared so 
loud that he has forgotten which side he is on : what more can the wildest 
Socialist ask for than Mr. Hirsch's own ideal? 

It is not, however, the inconsistencies of the anti-Socialist proposals 
with which we are now concerned, but the strength of their attack upon 
the vague ideals of the Socialist. And, putting exaggeration aside, it is 
clear that a very strong attack can be made if these ideals are taken as they 



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REVIEWS 87 

stand, and analysed into the consequences logically involved in them. The 
question then arises — In what way do the exponents of Socialism guard 
against the attacks 1 To this question it is very difficult to give a simple 
answer. Some Socialists, like Blatchford, have tried to make their 
economic formula a little more exact, but without much real success; 
others, like H. G. Wells, have elaborated in a Utopian way the possible 
consequences of some specific economic changes; while others, like many 
Fabians, are content to point to the Socialism (municipal and other) now 
existing, and say, " We mean a gradual but indefinite extension of this/' 
But a quite different tendency on the part of many leading Socialists is 
now very marked. They are inclined to leave the economic Socialism to 
take care of itself, while they devote their attention to Socialism as a 
policy of increased social control and supervision, — ^the necessary outcome 
of the growing realisation of the organic nature of society. This was the 
attitude of the late Professor Ritchie; it is also the attitude adopted in 
Mr. J. R. Macdonald's " Socialism and Society," in which the economic 
aspects are kept in the background. Possibly also the same attitude 
explains the policy of the political Socialists, whose aim is more and more 
the general extension in every direction of social protection and provision, 
— without any obvious reference to fundamental economic changes. And, 
finally, there is another group of advanced Socialists (such as most of the 
writers in the New Age), who interpret Socialism as a complete social 
faith, or a general philosophy of life, — somewhat elusive, certainly, but 
fascinating and full of magnificent possibilities, yet so wide as hardly to 
touch the question of detailed economic reconstruction. 

But, as we have suggested, it is just round these economic questions 
that the controvery must rage, for these are the questions to which the 
ordinary practical mind of a commercial nation is naturally attracted. 
And they aart fundamental; the quintessence of Socialism (as Schaeffle 
long ago saw) is social ownership of means of production. The opportunist 
Socialism which merely feeds the hungry at the expense of the too well fed, 
or mitigates poverty without altering the conditions of which poverty is 
said to be the inevitable outcome, is not worthy of the name of Socialism ; 
and the idealist Socialism which does not trouble to define the economic 
changes which it assumes is never likely to convert the practical man. 
For this, if for no other reason, we are glad to welcome a new edition of the 
"Enquiry into Socialism'' of that most sane and fair writer, Mr. T. 
Kirkup. The book was written twenty years ago ; and perhaps that is why 
it lays even too much emphasis on the fact '' that the essence of Socialism is 
an economic change ; everything else is accidental ;'' or that '' the funda- 
mental principle is associated labour with a joint capital," and the final 
aim is ''an equitable system of distributing the fruits of labour." But the 
writer does honestly attempt to guard against misinterpretation of these 
principles ; above aJl, he admits frankly that the formulae cannot be more 
than weak and insufficient attempts to forecast the future. And yet, just 
where we most ask for definiteness he fails us. Though emphasising the 
cardinal doctrine, he leaves the proposal vague. Granting our joint 
ownership of capital, how is the aim of a better distribution to be 
attained? And we are merely told that it will be "according to some 
good and equitable principle " 1 

One other book recently published serves the same good purpose of 
bringing us sharply back to the necessity of analysing the economic kernel 
of Socialism. Possibly few people nowadays except students read Marx's 
" Capital " ; and if they read the first volume they probably fight shy of the 



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88 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

second. But the publication of an English edition of the latter is useful. 
Critical, negative, and abstract as it is, its analysis of the functions of 
capital in the productive process compels us to re-state the formulee of 
social ownership of capital, in terms which shaJl explain the distinctions 
between monej capital, capital as a store of goods, and capital as plant 
and machinery, — with other elementary distinctions too often disregarded. 
And this is the first step to a more positive d^nition of the Socialist aim. 
The book is valuable, too, as an illustration of the close dependence of all 
modern Socialist revolts upon the economic basis laid down by Marx. The 
working-man Socialist who reviles (with scHne reason) the orthodox 
economics of school and university as an attempt to justify the existing 
system and processes, is, of course, drawing upon Marx ; but no less so the 
writer who (like Mr. Galsworthy) satirises the spiritual bankruptcy of the 
great tribe of bourgeois Forsytes. For was it not Marx who showed that 
the Bourgeois or Capitalist society entailed as one of its categories the 
class of persons who could only realise their individuality by having 
property 1 And, though we may be impatient of the exclusively eccmomic 
interpretation of all social facts which characterises Marx and his 
followers, we must admit that his detailed (if faulty) analysis of existing 
structure points the way to the equally detailed analysis of the Socialist 
economic system which still remains to be made. 

This analysis is really the pressing need of the present day, for it is 
the condition of the detailed and positive proposals which alone can give 
an answer to the quite positive and pertinent criticisms of a Richter or a 
Hirsch. Counter-attack is useless ; it is much too easy, and the work has 
been well enough done already. What is required is the definition, stage 
by stage, of the processes and methods leading up to and belonging to the 
proposed re-organisation of industry and society. We have had enough 
of tiie vague and general ideals ; they may be the logical goal, — ^but logic 
is the last thing we want. We want the practical compromise which defies 
logic. Most certainly we do not want any more loose talk about equality 
of opportunity or of anything else. Equality is quite the wickedest word 
in the political vocabulary. Sharply defined by reference to a few of the 
innumerable attributes and powers of socii, it may be given a meaning. 
Without such sharp definition, it is far worse than useless. And those 
who would apply it to more, than a very few of the powers of socii must 
be red\iced, as Richter saw, to the grotesque necessity of attaining their 
equality by constant use of lotteries. 

Most certainly, again, we do not want any more talk about the whole 
produce of a man's labour and the right to it There can never be a 
right to what can never be defined. But in varying degrees certain 
definable portions of produce or produce-value lose their way at present 
and stray into wrcHig hands. The duty of the Socialist is to define these 
and classify them in the order of their importance, and then talk 
intelligently about rights to s<Mne of them. 

Equally certainly we want no more talk about social ownership of all 
the means of production. Arguments about the ownership of my pen 
may be amusing, but are never profitable. Even the limitation of the 
formula to means of material production, with specification of land, mines, 
plant, etc., does not carry us much further. Social ownership of certain 
means already exists ; it is growing fast, and must grow, side by side with 
social control of other means which are not socially owned. Let us have 
the lines defined along which the increase shall take place: this or that 
class of monopoly, this or that class of industry of which the products 



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REVIEWS 89 

poBsess a certain degree of vital importance to the ivelfare of society, or of 
which the produce (in a real sense) cannot be measured at all in terms of 
commercial value or price. 

Finally, we may fairly urge that we are heartily sick of the talk about 
abolishing the family or property, — ^whichever side is guilty of it. Sensible 
people do not want to discuss the abolition of a necessary and fundamental 
social organ, or of a necessary and fundamental factor of individual 
development. But every sociologist is prepared to discuss this or that 
progresive modification of these or any other social institutions. 

And the task before the Socialist is not really a difficult one. He holds 
a strong position, and it should not be difficult for him to define a positive 
policy shorn of metaphysical trimmings, at once destructive and recon- 
structive. For he is not really advocating anything new or terrible or 
sudden at all, — any more than his impulse is new or terrible or catalysmic. 
Whether he takes merely the older ground of increased social ownership 
of certain productive plants and agents, or adds to this the newer ground 
of increased social direction of certain activities, he is but building on the 
by no means contemptible Socialist edifice which already exists. Let him 
then boldly work out his positive proposals bit by bit, defining and re- 
defining as criticism suggests. For in proportion as it becomes positive 
and definite the Socialist impulse becomes what its adversaries may 
call dangerous, but what the Sociologist is bound to call an effective and 
true dynamic agent. 

E. J. Urwick. 



" History of tbi Girkan Piopli from thb End of thb Middlb Aobs." 
By C. Janssen. Vols. zi. and xii. Translated by A. M. Christie. 
(Kegan Paul, 1907.) 

The translation of Janssen's monumental work, which began to appear 
in 1896, is now within sight of completion. The present instalment makes 
accessible to English readers the Sixth volume of the original, and leaves 
only the Seventh and Eighth to grapple with. The greatest credit is due 
to the translator and publisher for undertaking such a laborious and 
useful task. 

Janssen's work on the Reformation in Germany is not only by far the 
most important production of Ultramontane historiography since the 
Vatican Council, but is also one of the small number of books which are 
literally indispensable to the serious study of modern history. Thirty 
years before Janssen's volumes began to appear, DoUinger attacked the 
German Reformation in a work of immense learning which was little read. 
Janssen, on the contrary, has compelled his Protestant antagonists to read 
him, and no historical work of the same dimensions has had such a large 
sale during the last generation. Though its standpoint is frankly Ultra- 
montane and though no impartial student would dream of accepting en 
bloc the view of the Reformation here presented, the book has for ever 
destroyed the Protestant legend of the Reformation and has compelled 
honest Protestant historians to reject a good deal of Ranke and still more 
of lesser men. In addition to this it possesses the further merit of providing 
a Y^Tj detailed KutturgtBehichte of the German people for 150 years. Hie 
present instalment is, indeed, entirely devoted to this branch of the subject^ 
and throws a flood of light on art and music, popular and satirical 
literature;, religious and comic drama. Janssen's contention that the moral 



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90 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

state of the people before the Reformation was far better, and after the 
Reformation far worse, than is commonly supposed, contains a great deal 
of truth, though, like other writers who undertake to redress the balance, 
he departs too widely from the traditional opinion. No critical reader, 
however, can study these pages without learning a great deal about the 
life and thought, the morals and superstitions, of the German people in 
the 16ih century that he cannot find elsewhere. 

G. P. GoocH. 



"Thh Origin op thb English Languagh." By H. Munro Chadwick. 

Cambridge University Press. 1907. 
** National Lifb in Earlt English Litsraturs." By Edmund Dale. 

Cambridge University Press. 1907. 

The study of English origins is still in its infancy. Stubbs, Freeman 
and Green, on whom most of us were brought up, knew but little of Celtic 
and Roman Britain, and still less of the pre-Celtic period in our island 
and of our English ancestors in their German home. But during the 
last generation we have woken up to the need of getting behind the Anglo- 
Saxon invasions. A mass of information on early man has been collected 
by Boyd Dawkins and other anthropologists, by Charles Elton, whose 
admirable work on the evidence of skulls, tombs, articles of handiwork, 
superstitions, and land tenure lit up the earliest history of our 
island, and by the researches of Rhys and Arbois de Jubainville 
on Celtic Britain. The study of Roman Britain has been advanced by the 
collection of inscriptions in the Roman Corptts, by Mommsen's summary 
in a chapter of his "Provinces," and still more by the comprehensive 
researches of Professor Haverfield. We are still, however, without any 
work corresponding to Mullenhoff's DetUsehe Alterfhttmskunde, 

Mr. Chadwick is already known as a well-equipped and scholarly 
historian by his " Studies on Anglo-Saxon Institutions," and he has more 
recently contributed a chapter on our early epics to the Cambridge 
History of English Literature. In the former work he shewed great skill 
in reconstructing the social and administrative system of the age from 
the Wergeld and other clues. In the present volume he carries his inves- 
tigations further back, and by the light of philology, ethnology, and 
archaeology he provides the fullest account we possess of our Teutonic 
forefathers before they conquered Britain. Mr. Chadwick adopts the 
method of working backwards employed with such sucess by Seebohm and 
other students of our early institutions, and devotes the first four chapters 
to the Teutonic invasions. Though there is less that is novel in this part 
of the book, he shews, by a study of dialects, archeeological remains and 
such indications as the Wergeld that the conquerors of Britain were of 
two races, the Jutes and Anglo-Saxons, not of three, as commonly 
believed, the Angles and Saxons having merged before they crossed the 
sea. The second and larger part of the book deals with these races in their 
continental home, and Mr. Chadwick deserves the gratitude of students 
for the large amount of illustrative matter that he has collected from many 
sources. Starting, like everbody else, from Zeuss, he has made himself 
master of a great mass of material gathered by Scandinavian scholars 
during the last few decades, material which is not only of value for its 
direct contribution to our knowledge of the origins of the invading tribes, 
but also as rendering posible the comparative study of early Teutonic 
institutions. 



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REVIEWS 91 

Armed with these weapons, and making skilful use of such well-known 
sources as Beowulf, Mr. (3iadwick traces the social and political organisa- 
tion of our ancestors back from the time of the invasions to the period of 
Tacitus. He is convinced that the structure of society was highly 
developed, and he finds no traces of undisciplined and nomadic hordes. 
Agriculture was thoroughly understood, a definite military organisa- 
tion was in existence, and the weapons and ornaments point to a high 
level of wealth and artistic achievement. He also discovers that» as far 
back as the eye can reach, our forefathers were ruled by kings, though 
the geographical area of their jurisdiction was often very small, and he 
finds nothing that can be called a national assembly. In a word, he 
believes that when we first catch a glimpse of our ancestors the state of 
society was settled, highly organised and by no means democratic. These 
results are somewhat contrary to the traditional view, but are supported 
by wide learning and ingenious argument. 

One of the most interesting chapters is that on the cult of Nerthus, or 
Mother Earth, in reference to which a famous passage in the G^rmania 
gives so much information in a doeen lines. The cult was connected with 
ceremonies practised in many ages and countries with a view to the 
fertilization of the fields. Mr. Ghadwick shews the striking resemblance 
with the festival of Cybele at B,<xne and in Gaul, in which the procession 
of a consecrated car reappears, and he points to the survival of a somewhat 
similar symbolism in the May-day ceremonies in Russia and elsewhere. 
The earliest recorded religious practices of our race cannot fail to be of 
interest to students of history and sociology, and a good deal of light is 
reflected on them in this bo<^ from a study of related phenomena. 

Mr. Dale has written an interesting and readable volume on the 
development of English character, habits, and ideals as mirrored in the 
literature of early and medieeval England. Beginning with the heroic 
figure of Beowulf, we are shewn the refining influence of Christianity in 
Caedmon and Cynewulf, the intrusion of the Danish and Norman factors, 
closing with the resultant type in Langland and Chaucer. The book 
makes no pretence to original research, and its novelty consists rather in 
its arrangement than in its material. It fulfils, however, a useful purpose 
for those who are ignorant of Anglo-Saxon and Latin, by collecting 
illustrative passages from little known monuments of our early literature. 

G. P. GoocH. 



"Tbb Town Child." By Reginald A. Bray, L.C.C. Fisher Unwin. 7/6. 

If, as most of us agree, sociology is a science in the making, we shall 
webome any serious discussion of great sociological questions, even when 
the treatment is not complete or adequate and when the net result is 
rather the raising of problems than their solution. Mr. Bray's book 
is of this kind. He is a sympathetic observer who has for some years 
studied the life and character of children in the poorer quarters of a great 
town, and his book has a twofold purpose; one, to connect the character 
of these children — as he reads it — with the environment in which they 
live ; the other, to suggest methods of improvement. Of these the second 
purpose largely predominates. It is mainly a work of social reform, akin 
to Sir John €U>rst's recent book on " Tlie Children of the State," rather 



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92 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

than a work of sociological acience, although there are Buggestions 
throughout, and especially in the chapter on " Enyironment and Man/' 
which show a spirit of disooverj, and should open the way to further more 
exhaustive inquiry. 

There are, however, two serious limitations to the value of the general 
conclusions which Mr. Bray draws with regard to the effect of town and 
country on the character of children. One is that he approaches the 
matter primarily from the psychological rather than the physiological 
standpoint. There is too much of Prof. William James — if one may say 
so without disrespect to a gifted and deservedly popular writer ; and too 
little about physical conditions, family life, food, air, sleep — the funda- 
mental facts that make up the larger part of our environment. The other 
limitation is that Mr. Bray idealises too much, and argues from the 
extremes. The countryman lives in an atmosphere of " repose, silence, 
beauty, the three characteristics of the nature element" (though others 
have observed that Nature is ' red in tooth and claw ') ; the townsman lives 
in the restless noise and whirl of the machine — ** excitement, noise and a 
kind of forlorn and desperate ugliness, follow in the track of the human 
element." 

It is these things mainly that form the child's character in Mr. Bray's 
portrait of him, and it would be an easy but not a very profitable task 
to criticise it in detail. The book deserves notice rather for calling our 
attention in a striking way to one of the greatest problems in modern 
life — the nest of evils into which a large proportion of our children are 
born, and for the number of fine and stimulating sayings which it 
contains. Two quotations will illustrate these and indicate both Mr. 
Bray's power of pregnant epigram and the truth of his insight as to the 
right line of social advance: — "The tragedy of modern life must be 
sought not in the poverty of its resources, but in the failure to realise the 
extent of its possessions. . ." All real progress has been made in the past and 
will be made in the future by the conversion of passive into active 
relations ; in other words, by adding the warm glow of human sympathy 
to the passionless and mechanical ties that bind us to our fellow men." 

The book is an interesting example of how in any sociological study 
our ideal of what should be, and our zeal to obtain it, are always likely 
to obscure the picture of what is. It is clearly of profound importance, 
as Mr. Bray points out, to realise the effect which the growth of great 
towns in the last hundred years has had on the physique and character 
of the child population. Tet of the 333 pp. in this book only the first 
50 are devoted to an estimate of these influences and this is largely 
coloured by the author's idealising tendency and fertile imagination. 
The rest of the book is concerned with suggestions for reform and 
discussion of large general principles — the sphere of the Individual and 
the State in Social Reform, a Minimum Wage^ the Family as the " training 
ground of relationships," the sort of religious teaching suitable to the 
young, etc. 

With much of this many of us will heartily agree ; yet one cannot help 
grudging the space given to it, when the particular problem is of so 
absorbing an interest. If only Mr. Charles Booth, aided by a National 
Anthropometric Bureau and led to the spot by Mr. Bray, could give 
us an exact account of the facts and their causes, we could face Mr. 
Bray's categories of " shoulds " and " oughts " and " insists " with better 
hope of a sound judgment. As it is, the race after Mr. Bray's crowd of 



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REVIEWS 93 

ingenious but often fantastic reforms takes one's breath away and carries 
one off tbe field of patient and much-needed investigation. 

But we welcome the book heartily as pointing out the field and showing 
its importance and its charms, and we have no doubt that> with the 
advent of medical inspection of schools and the great accession of public 
interest in the subject, it will be speedily followed up. 

F. S. Marvin. 



"Woman in Transition." By Annette M. B. Meakin. (Methuen & Co., 

1907), 6s. 

Mrs. Meakin's book is a plea for greater independence, better education 
and freer scope to individuality for women. It is notable that this plea 
is made quite as much in the interests of woman, the wife and mother, as 
in those of the independent professional woman. " Girls tend to be petty, 
mean and jealous because they are taught to cultivate their emotions 
instead of controlling them; their success in life depends upon pleasing 
men." ..." Even Frenchmen are beginning to see that coquetry 
demoralises a girl, and that a coquette does not invariably turn into a 
good wife, much less into a good mother " (p. 17). Here we believe Mrs. 
Meakin sounds an entirely right note, and one which more and more 
tends to dominate the discussions and claims of the younger people in the 
Woman's Movement. It was quite inevitable 30 or 40 years ago that 
that movement should be mainly a plea for independence and "la 
carri^re ouverte aux talents." English middle-class women were then 
under cruel disabilities, almost every career but teaching being 
closed to them, while they also went often in fear of losing 
their daily bread, from the fact that provision for daughters neither is 
nor was so regular a custom in England as in France. Moreover, 
Thackeray's picture of the poor little ignorant girl, shivering, with red 
arms, in white muslin and blue sash, always waiting for a partner whether 
for a dance or for life, probably had considerable effect in goading on 
the women of that day. They claimed that they could do without 
marriage if they might have the same chance to learn and work as their 
brothers. The lapse of a generation or two has shown that this solution 
of the women's problem is very inadequate. The fact remains that the 
largest number of women do marry and have children, and that the most 
important of all questions relate to this side of life. Is the old-fashioned 
up-bringing (which, for all the talk of new ideas, is still the most widely 
spread) really a satisfactory one from the point of view of children and 
the homef The managers of circulating libraries can tell of women who 
get through two or three volumes of fiction every day. As Mrs. Meakin 
quite justly points out, these are women who " have been taught to think 
that men do not like learned women " (p. 35). 

With Mrs. Meakin's plea for better education and a healthier activity 
for women we are in the most complete sympathy. Yet we doubt whether 
the present volume is a very useful contribution to the movement. So 
many subjects are touched upon that the reader almost loses breath, and 
it is by no means easy always to grasp the connecting thread that doubtless 
exists in the author's own mind. The book shows a wide range of reading, 
and there are numerous references to authors, but the page is seldom 
indicated, and not always the work. Quotations are sometimes carelessly 
given. A comically uncharacteristic statement is ascribed to Mr. Bernard 



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94 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

Shaw (p. 39), but the reader who is sufficiently curious to turn up the 
** Quintessence of Ibsenism," p. 21, will discover that the words quoted 
represent, not Mr. Shaw's own sentiments, but a " desperate pretence " of 
which he accuses other men. Similarly, a very misleading account is given 
of Frau Lily Braun's views on " Trade Unionism " (p. 213). Does not the 
" English Women's Federal Association '' mentioned on p. 214 stand for 
the Women's Liberal Federation? We hope that in a future work Mrs. 
Meakin will turn some of her evidently considerable ability in the 
direction of revising her text, concentrating her discussion, and correcting 
inadvertencies such as have crept into the present volume. 

B. L. Hut CHINS. 



" Railway Nationalisation." By Clement Edwards. (Methuen & Co.) 

This book is a plea for the transference of the railway system to 
national ownership by using the power of State acquisition conferred 
under the Act of 1844, which laid down as a general principle (subject^ 
however, to one or two important limitations), that the public should be 
allowed to buy out the present owners by paying twenty-five years' purchase 
of the annual divisible profits of the three years preceding acquisition. 
Its text is a contrast, drawn by Mr. Lloyd George in a recent speech, 
between the satisfaction with the railway system felt by traders in Germany 
with the discontent of the corresponding class in Great Britain. Mr. 
Edwards argues that neither of the three classes most interested in good 
management of railways — ^traders, passengers {i.e., third-class passengers), 
and employees is content with the system as it exists, and that their 
discontent is justified. Since Mr. Lloyd George established public 
machinery for securing collective bargaining, the workers are for the 
present out of the bill. The heaviest count in the indictment is the 
complaint of the commercial community that (i.) railway rates are so 
high as to prevent goods shipped from the inland centres competing 
successfully in foreign markets; (ii.) that the railways frequently give a 
preference to foreign shippers which enables them to undersell the British 
producer in the home market. The evidence adduced by Mr. Edwards is 
more than sufficient to suggest the need of a new inquiry into the service 
supplied, an inquiry which is needed because no one but an expert can 
decide on questions of rates. Particular cases of apparently monstrous 
charges are misleading, because, like other traders, railways charge their 
fixed expenses against different goods in different proportions, making 
some classes of freight, or freight from certain districts, bear a much 
higher percentage than others. Hence only a comprehensive survey of all 
rates can show whether the charges as a whole are unreasonable. 
Moreover, the fault lies partly in want of organisation on the part of the 
shippers ; for example, British farmers would no doubt get better terms 
if they co-operated to send their stuff to market in bulk. 

But Mr. Edwards' contentions (a) that competition between railways 
in providing a service has meant ridiculous extravagance; ()3) that 
railways exercise semi-monopolistic powers ; (y) that neither the maximum 
fares fixed by Railway Acts nor the Railway Oommission protect the public 
against unreasonable charges, are fully borne out. The truth is that the 
public mind has never grasped the essential difference between competition 
carried on in industries where the weakest producer is quickly eliminated, 
and the competition of companies employing vast masses of fixed capital 
which cannot be turned to other uses. Owing to the deadly effects of a 



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REVIEWS 95 

protracted rate war between railway lines, some form of common under- 
standing, either by the pooling of traffic, or the fixing of minimum rates 
is almost inevitable. Moreover, while the public is thus prevented from 
getting the advantages of competition, it does not get the economies 
which come from monopoly. For, though the commercial policy of the 
railways is unified, their internal management is not. The travelling 
public and the shippers of goods have to pay for duplicated staffs and 
offices, and superfluous trains and termini. In short, our railway system 
resembles in some respects one of the imperfect forms of combination, 
such as a ring or kartell, which checks competition, but stops short of 
amalgamation. In the chapter called "Is private ownership hopeless?'' 
Mr. Edwards gives a good account of the difficulty, amounting almost to 
impossibility, of controlling rates by the mere supervision of a Conmiission. 
The expert witnesses and the detailed knowledge needed to establish a case 
are both in the hands of the companies and of almost no one else. The 
Select Committee appointed in 1893 to consider the new rates, which had 
just been established with the object of relieving the trader, discovered 
that one company " had succeeded in raising the rates of one class of 
trader by £94,000 a year, in order to recoup th^nselves for reductions to 
other traders to the amount of £80,000 a year." Mr. Clement Edwards' 
account of the present relations between the State and the railways, and 
his chapter called the rise of State control will certainly repay attention. 
Though not pretending to be a complete scientific account of the economics 
of transport (the difficulty of the problem involved in fixing railway rates 
is hardly sufficiently recognised), the book is fair throughout, and is 
written in a readable style. R. H. Tawnbt. 



''Thb Francs of To-Dat." By Barrett Wendell, Professor of English at 
Harvard, first Hyde Lecturer at the Sorbonne, etc.. London : Arch. 
Constable and Co. 6s. net. 
In this well-printed volume there is little for the sociologist, and 
nothing new for any who have seen France intelligently for themselves. 
Tet it may be of real use to these to hand on to their less sympathetically 
travelled friends, American or English, who know nothing of French 
Universities, and who understand still less of French society or of the 
French temperament. These may learn much fr<»n this quiet and sober 
writer, who has entered France with no more knowledge than most, but 
simply with the open mind befitting his friendly mission, his inter- 
academic embassy of thought. He discovered, for instance, not only that 
people work in Paris, and that harder than elsewhere, but often to more 
purpose also; so that^ not without all due respect to Germany, he sees 
that "American learning would be greatly strengthened if more of our 
graduate students came under French influence." In the same way he 
gently, but firmly corrects the still too conmion nonsense about the French 
having no family life, no "home" and so on, and does much towards 
correcting our prevalent Pharisaisms and ignorances in regard to the 
French drama, novel, or other work of art. For all these elementary 
needs of the mass of the British and the American public. Prof. Wendell's 
book may thus be unhesitatingly recommended; it is a little primer of 
oommonsense approach to France; the more since the writer makes no 
pretensions to anything further. " The Real France " has still to be 
written, if indeed it ever can be; but it is at any rate something to have 
a book which helps to clear away ai good many of the crude misunder- 



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96 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

standingB, the false impreuions, not to speak of the malignant caricatures 
of France by which the minds of eren our own generation are to this day 
more or less poisoned. 

P. G. 






''A CONBIDBIUTIOK OF THB StATB OF IrBLAUD IK THB NnfBTBBHTH 

Cbhtubt." By G. Locker Lampson. London : Archibald Gcmstable 
and (To. Ltd. 18b. net. 

The recent history of Ireland abounds in problems of the highest 
interest to the Sociologfist. These are hardly touched in this volume of 
nearly seven hundred pages. There is no attempt to analyse and still 
less to trace to their origin the extremely different characteristics of the 
two nations. The existence of a national consciousness in Ireland in 
spite of foreign dcnnination is not discussed. The effects of economic 
changes in the outside world only receive the most cursory notice. Changes 
in econ<Hnic theory at home are treated as if they were of little importance. 
In several chapters devoted to the Land Question, while great stress is 
laid on the immediate effects of legislation, the radical difference between 
the English and the Irish conception of the landlord's rights hardly 
receives due consideration. The result is that while page after page is 
occupied with the tale of Irish woes, the impression left on the mind is 
that these are mainly due to the wickedness or the callousness of the rulers 
of Ireland. Now this is altogether to misunderstand the situation. The 
English rulers of Ireland have not all been good, and they have usually 
been ignorant ; but the majority of them were average representatives of 
English public life^ and many of them did excellent service in other 
spheres. We must go deeper if we wish to understand the causes of their 
failure. Mr. Lampson has got together the materials for an important 
work on Sociology. He has produced instead a k>ng, an illogical, and an 
inaccurate political pamphlet. 

That it is long, the author himself would hardly deny ; but a word or 
two may be needed to defend the other epithets. After filling several 
hundred pages with the story of English failures in Ireland, Mr. Lampson 
neither declares in favour of the Irish being allowed to try their hand, 
nor attributes the misfortunes to circumstances over which the English 
had no control; but admitting the full responsibility of the rulers, 
he yet insists that they should continue to rule, purged of their 
ancient wickedness by reading this book or other suitable penance, 
and helped as far as may be in their efforts to undo past evils by the 
construction of a tunnel from Scotland, the abolition of the Yiceroyalty, 
the reduction of the number of Irish representatives in Parliament, and 
other such tremendous revolutions. It is obvious that the value of such a 
book must depend in great part upon its accuracy as a compendium of 
facts. As to this, it is enough to say that Lord Herschell becomes in the 
text Lord Chancellor in Mr. Gladstone's last administration three years 
after he has died in a note, that E. Dwyer Gray is confused with his son, 
that two different dates are given in the same page for the vacancy due 
to Archbishop Boulter's death, and that — most amazing mistake of all — 
Stone, the Primate, a strong supporter of English ascendency, who died in 
1764, is confounded with Hervey, Bishop of Derry and Earl of Bristol, 
the leader of the Extremists at the time of the Volunteer Convention, who 
died in 1803. 

S. H. SWINNT. 



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REVIEWS 97 



"Air OuTLiNB OF English Looal Govbrnmxnt." By Edward Jenks. 

(Methuen k Co.) 

This little book is a reprint> with additions, of the well-known " Outline 
of English Local Goyernment/' which Prof. Jenks published in 1894. A 
good many changes have intervened since then in the sphere of Local 
Government, notably, the London Government Act of 1899 and the 
Education Act of 1902, to make alterations necessary. The chapter on 
the educational authorities has accordingly been re-written by the Editor 
of the second edition, Mr. R. C. E. Ensor, who also adds a chapter on 'The 
peculiarities of London Government." As a text-book for those beginning 
the study of Local Government the book has long been used and valued ; 
its clear classification of local authorities, and its unobtrusive learning 
making it an ideal introduction to a tangled subject. Prof. Jenks has 
indeed carried self-suppression almost too far, and his few pages on the 
development of the borough make the reader wish that the plan of 
the book had allowed him to give a fuller description of the growth of 
local institutions. Happily that want, as far as the Parish and County 
are concerned, has been in great measure supplied by the recently 
published first volume of Mr. and Mrs. WebVs " History of Local Govern- 
ment." For an account of the concrete problems besetting the local 
administrator, and of the solutions from time to time attempted, the 
student must turn to that and other bo<^s. But Mr. Jenks supplies in 
a convenient and non-technical form the indispensable skeleton of law 
without which historical knowledge cannot be organised into a serviceable 
shape. R. H. Tawnbt. 



" Thib Child's Mind, its Growth and Training " : Being a short study of 
some processes of Learning and Teaching. By W. E. Urwick, M.A. 
Pp. 269. E. Arnold. 4s. 6d. net. 

This is a book on the theory of education for the class teacher. Its 
aim is to re-state '* old truths in a new light " ; the new light is there, but 
it is turned on gradually, and never becomes intense enough to give a 
shock. The first fifty pages discuss the application of certain fundamental 
principles derived from biology and physiology, and the last fifty the 
wider aspects of school education conducive to the making of character, 
and also the limits placed by social conditions on elementary education. 
The intervening chapters enter somewhat fully into the psychology of the 
growth of mental power, and the application of the principles of growth 
as described by the writer to class-room instruction. 

While certainly not approaching a final statement of the methods 
by which education should seek to develop mental power, this is a 
statement which at present should prove very valuable. The psychological 
theory is sound; it is clearly expressed, and the worst offences 
against it that mark our school instruction are underscored ; for instance, 
'' The mistakes made by thinking, and by thinking wrongly, are as nothing 
compared with the mistakes made by not thinking at all, or not thinking 
enough." 

The practical application of the theory is in the main a 
modified Herbartianism; it aims at a continuous, careful systematisa- 



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98 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

tion of instruction, and in this effort we wish it all suooess. But 
with special reforms we frequently find ourselves in disagree- 
ment, and we are inclined to think that the writer's experience has 
been too narrow to qualify him as adviser. Can we agree» for example, 
that because mathematics and ancient languages have been longest 
taught " their methodology is fairly fixed and complete?" In no subjects 
are reforms more urgent than in the teaching of Arithmetic and 
Geometry. In fact, while there has been a good deal of rather blind 
groping about after reforms in many subjects, a well-grounded scientific 
methodology of any one of them is not yet within sight. 

Again, while the aim of the writer — to bring about reforms in 
class-room instruction — should find a wide sphere of activity, we 
think that he has unduly neglected the experiments to promote 
mental growth by freer means that of recent years have been 
increasing. His exposition dwells mainly on 'receptive activity/ 
whereas the efforts of reformers such as Dr. J. Dewey aim at 
school and class- ro(Hn organisation that will promote self -activity i and 
while these reforms may not yet have so far developed that they can be 
generally adopted, their value is acknowledged, and no modern theory 
of education can afford to neglect them. In theee modern schools where self- 
active methods now prevail it is not found, as Mr. Urwick affirms, that " the 
youthful mind is ' an inveterate shirk,' and will not use its highest process 
if it can be helped. It is easy for pupils to wait and watch a teacher do 
the work for them which they might do for themselves." The activity 
characteristic of an unspoiled infant continues without serious diminution 
through the early school stages. 

In his last too brief chapter Mr. Urwick draws attention to a reform 
which must precede any effective organisation of Continuation Schools: 
that the hours of labour of girls and boys between 14 and 17 years of 
age must be limited to eight. We are inclined to say this reform should 
go further, that during the critical period of early adolescence eight 
hours of hard physical labour are too many, especially when they 
follow on a childhood mainly passed in sitting on class-room benches. 
In order that a reserve of power may be available for intellectual ends 
during the evening, the hours of labour must be reduced to sev^, if not to 
less t^an seven; and the age of reduction should last until the girl or 
boy is eighteen. 

M. E. FiNDLAT. 



"The Sanitary Evolution op London." By Henry Jephson, L.C.C. 
Pp. 440. T. Fisher Unwin. 1907. 6s. net. 

This collection of extracts relating to the modern organisation of 
health is interesting and of no small service to those immediately concerned 
with health problems, but, like similar works whose chief aim is to detail 
as many facts as can be ascertained in relation to their subjects, dry if 
not tiresome reading to those not so concerned. Like the Third Report 
of the Lords' Committee on Metropolitan Hospitals, it is a valuable 
summary of influential opinions on certain aspects of the municipalisation 
of health, and therefore a most desirable addition to sociological literature. 
As such it tends to throw much light on the methods of inaugurating and 
helping forward the new movement; it shows how one of the most 



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REVIEWS 99 

important and vital moyement« of our century has been left to the care of 
charities, to the spasmodic and confused action of individuals and 
Ck>rporations ; it suggests that the time has arrived for taking in hand 
seriously the organisation on a national scale of the elementary conditions 
of health ; and it urges the formation of a London Health Authority as an 
absolute necessity. The diseases of the civic soul, it says, are calculable 
and within our reach, but it does not say this as clearly as possible. For 
instance^ it contains but one sketch-map as visual aid, instead of a 
number of maps and charts mapping out the city into, health districts^ as the 
Public Health Act of 1872 did in another way. Again its full index might 
well have been supplemented by a helpful chronological table giving the 
stages in the gradual evolution by which health is becoming nationalised 
and internationalised, such as the Royal Commission of 1872, the 
Infectious Diseases Notification Act, the various Health Congresses, from 
the International Congress of Hygiene at Brussels in 1876 to the 
International Congress of Hygiene and Demography in 1891, and the 
recent Congress in Grermany, whereby the reader could see at a glance what 
has been, is being, and is about to be done to consolidate, unify and 
stimulate the various movements connected not only with sanitation, but 
all branches of public health The book is opportune and may perhaps 
lead to the production of the one most of us are awaiting, which treated 
more systematically would afford — (1) a view of the sins of the civic 
body (classification of sanitary problems) ; (2) a view of what has been and 
is being done to remove them (classification of solutions); (3) a view of 
what ought to be done (classification of possible organisations) ; (4) a view 
of the sinless civic body. Such a scheme, worked out with the aid of 
maps, charts, plans, etc., could not fail to bring the subject of civic 
therapeutics within the grasp of all. 

H. C. 



" Thb Economics of thb HousHHOLn." By Louise Creighton. (Longmans, 

Green k Co.) 

In this series of six lectures given at the London School of Economics 
to the teachers of Domestic Economy under the London County Council, 
Mrs. Creighton passes in review the various aspects of home life to be 
taken into account by those responsible for the training of housewives. 
It is distinguished from other books on the same subject by the breadth 
of view, embracing as it does within its scope industrial conditions, 
infantile mortality, alcoholism, gambling, standards of cleanliness, 
friendly societies, co-operation and municipal government. 

Although admirably adapted to their purpose of giving to domestic 
economy teachers ** a background, a setting to their work, to make them 
feel the greatness, the infinite importance of the problems they touch," 
these lectures will be found even more useful by members of Education 
Committees. Indeed, so far as the teachers are concerned, the conclusion 
to which one is finally led as one shuts the book is that the task assigned 
them at present is not the right one. Our County Councils are merely 
feeling their way and have not yet struck the right path. Not that 
Mrs. Creighton makes any criticism of the methods adopted. But almost 
every page brings fresh testimony that the child can only receive home 
training at home^ and that it is the mother who should be the student at 
the classes of the domestic economy teachers : — 



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100 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

"It seeniB as if there were an increasing number of people who 
would almost destroy the family altogether and were prepared to take 
away the children to be trained elsewhere because the parents do it so 
badly. . . . One great weakness of this view is that it seems hardly 
likely that we should ever be able to obtain a sufficient number of peopk 
able to train other people's children better than their own parents 
could do it " (p. 7). 

Mudi of Mrs. Creighton's best teaching can only be acted on at once by 
the mothers. Given to the children it wc^d be mere abstract theory: — 

" To spend on things which cause real delight^ and so add to the joy 
of life, is not wasteful. Money spent in making a home beautiful, and 
even the simplest home can be beautiful, is not wasted, for such a home 
makes its owners delight to be there and happy when they are there. 
But a front parlour which is never used, filled with useless knick-knacks, 
damp and empty, whilst the rest of the house is overcrowded, may add 
to the vanity and self-satisfaction of its owners, but cannot add to their 
efficiency " (p. 78). 

However gently put^ criticism of the best parlour reported by the child 
to its mother does not conduce to domestic peace. There are passages in 
this little book which must make the elementary teacher feel that her task 
is a hopeless one. There is not a page in it which would not promote 
vigorous discussion in a well-managed mothers' meeting. 

C. E .C. 



"SuaaasTiON in Education." By M. W. Keatinge, M.A., Reader in 
Education in the University of Oxford. (A. k C. Qark, 1907.) 

In treating Education from the standpoint of Suggestion, Mr. Keatinge 
is following good examples, and he has made capital use of the psycho- 
logical material that has been accumulating during the last twenty years. 
He first gives us an account of mind regarded from the standpoint of 
hypnotism and suggestion, and makes clear by ample illustration his view 
of the processes of consciousness and sub-consciousness ; he then applies his 
conclusions to the situation as presented in the aims and methods of the 
school. The most original part of the work is concerned with his 
treatment of the " doctrine of reaction and oontrarianoe." On the basis 
of this view of mental process he delivers a sharp attack on methods of 
moral instruction which have recently come into favour at the Board of 
Education as well as elsewhere. 

Mr. Eeatinge's style is clear and vigorous, and we believe that ihis book 
will be widely welcomed as a sound contribution to pedagogic literature. 
No doubt in psychology he is a follower of Paulhan, Ribot> and other 
French writers, rather than an original investigator; but Mr. Eeatinge's 
business is with Education and he has offered an able example of the way 
in which the newer psychology can throw fresh light upon the work of the 
school. 



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PERIODICAL LITERATURE loi 

PERIODICAL LITERATURE. 

Political Sciincs Quabtksly. Vol. xzii. No. 8.— Henry B. Seager : The Attitude 
of the State towards Trade Unions and Trusts. Studies the analogy between the 
trade union and the trust. Both forms of combination should be given free play to 
the point of conflict with general interest. Beyond that their common evil tendencies 
should be regulated and controlled.— Frank T. Carlton : The Working-men*s Party 
of New York City, The participation of working-men as a party in New York 
politics in 1829-30 had the effect of passing a mechanics' lien law, of abolishing im- 
prisonment for debt, and of increasing educational appropriations. With the growth 
of the trade union movement direct political effort ceased. — Ulrich Bonnell Phillips : 
The Slave Labor Problem in the Charleston District. Study of slavery in a special 
district, showing how it developed under Carolina conditions in colonial times, and 
setting forth the various phases, liberalist and restrictive, of its history. — Charles 
Ramsdell Lingley : The Treatment of Burgoyne*s Troops under the Saratoga Con- 
vention. Studies the terms of the Saratoga Convention and the history of the 
Convention Army. The reasons for the virtual abrogation of the Convention by 
Congress were the extreme ease of the terms, the trouble over quarters, supplies and 
discipline and the doubtful faith of Burgoyne. — K. Richard Wallach : De Facto 
Office. Considers practice bearing on the question whether there can be a <2e facto 
officer if there is no office de jure. United States courts follow the English rule of 
allowing de facto office by colour of right, but practice in the various States shows 
a confusing variety. The difficulty is largely incident to a written constitution. — 
George H. Haynes : The Education of Voters. Discusses the new law in Oregon 
providing for the official publication and free distribution of political information 
and argument in connection with the use of the initiative and referendum. — Henry 
Jones Ford : The Ethics of Empire. Reviews the section of Mr. Hobhouse's 
Democracy and Reaction^ which deals with the ethical principles involved in imperial 
extension of authority. Applications to the United States. 



Thi AmoiiCAN Jottbnal of Socioloot. Vol. xiii, 3.— Lester F. Ward : Sodtd 
and Biological Struggles. Shows the error of sociologists who describe human 
struggles as social Darwinism. The struggle for existence is a competition of mem- 
bers of the same species or closely related species for means of subsistence, and can- 
not be placed in the same category with human struggles of the character of war. — 
Charles A. EUwood : Sociology^ its Problems and its Relations. A methodological 
study dealing with definitions of sociology and of society, the subject-matter and 
problems of sociology, the relations of sociology to other sciences, and to philosophy. 
— Charles Richmond Henderson : Industrial Insurance, VI, Private Insurance 
Companies. — Joseph B. Ross : The Temper of the American. Makes out the typical 
American to be a somewhat provincial villager, close to the soil, optimistic, a wor- 
shipper of successful toil, a partisan in politics, a believer in privilege, and orthodox 
in religion. — The Relatums of the Social Sciences, a Symposium. Contains six letters 
written in reply to questions, manifesting little concurrence of opinion and little 
interest in the general relations of sociology as against the specialisms. — Gertrude C. 
Davoiport : Hereditary Crime. Summarises an article by Dr. Jorger, " Die Familie 
Zero," describing a degenerate family in Switzerland. Important as adding to the 
special studies of hereditary degeneration. 



RiviSTA Italuka di Sociolooia. Anno xi, Fasc. 4-^.— E. Catellani: L* Africa 
nuova e U diritto pubblico africano. — ^R. Livi : Infiltrationi etnografiche neUa popo- 
latiane italiana del M.E. — P. Dorado : II trattamento del delinquente secondo la 
sdenta modema.—'F, Squillace : Di alcuni problemi della sociologia.~-¥, Carli : 
II personalismo e la Chiesa. 



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102 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

RiVTTi Imtebnationali db Sociologii (15 : 11). —Alfred Fonill^: Soddlogit et 
Morale. Application of the doctrine of idies farces to ethics. It throws light upon 
the nature of the moral end, is a mode of identifying individual and muversal by 
exhibiting their real nnity in the idit-farce, and shows that complete realisation of 
itself by either society or the individnal implies, not a limitation, bat a corresponding 
development of the other. — £. Delbet and P. Grimanelli : CammimaraHon tTAugusU 
ConUe. 

VlKBTBUAHRSCHBirT WtR WI8SENSCHA1TLICHI PHILOflOPHIB UND SOZIOLOOIB. — 

Wemick : Der Wirkliehkeitsgedanke. Pikkr : Beschreibung und Einsehrdnkung. 



La Scibnci Sociali (40e fasc.). — Boyer, Damas d'Anlezy, Deschamps, Demolins : 
Les populations farestUres du centre de la France. A study of the districts of Mor- 
vand, Bas Nivemais and Pnisaye, with reference to the geogri^hical conditions, the 
occapations, and the social formations of the inhabitants. The Morvand type is 
especially interesting, as it depends upon the simple occupation of wood-cutting with 
the slightest possible admixture of agriculture. All the central forest populations 
and their social products have tended to change and degenerate with the changes in 
the wood-industry. 

Abghiv wta. Rassin und GisiLLSCHArrs-BioLOGiB (4 Jahrgang, 5 Heft). — ^Ehxen- 
fels: Die konstitutive Verderblichkeit der Monogamie und die Unentbehrlichkeit 
einer Sexualreform (1 Teil). — ^An attempt to estimate the value of the sexual factor in 
the life of MiimaJa and of primitive man, with a special view to determining the 
biological advantages and disadvantages of monogamy as affecting the virile factor. — 
Lipps : Die soziologische Chrundfrage. The author makes use of his principle of 
"Einfuhlung" or sympathetic self-projection as the basis of the social consciousness, 
and especially those aspects known as altruistic. — Nordenholz : Soziologie, Psychologie 
v. Ethik. Einige Bemerkungen zu der vorstehenden Abhandlung des Herm Prof. 
Dr. Th. Lipps. Beply to the foregoing. — Heiderich : Nordamerikanisht Bevdlkerungs 
und Rassenprobletne. A study of immigration to the United States and of the great 
variety of peoples participating. The earliest English and Dutch settlers, and the 
late influx of numerous nationalities, are considered with reference to their social 
effects. Chief attrition is given to the prospect of German culture becoming 
dominant. 



ZiirscHRirx rOu Sogialwissxnschaft (x :11). — 0. Auhagen : Die Zukunfi der 
russischen Landwirtschaft (i). The extent of Russia's agricultural exports gives it a 
significant place in the world's market, and is the chief commercial dependence of 
that country. Study of Russia's agricultural resources; area, soil, fertility, etc., of 
the various districts. — ^F. Goldstein : Die saddle Dreistufen Theorie (ii). The place 
of cattle in African life. The cow is chief object of thought, affects names of 
places, determines the calendar, fixes social standing, and constitutes the price of 
wives. Cattle are insignia of wealth, and occupy the place of money among 
Europeans. — H. Stocker : Zur Reform der Conventionellen OeschlecJUstnoral (ii). An 
appeal for reform in sexual ethics in the direction of a more natural and rational 
attitude, greater economic independence on the part of woman, gieater freedom in 
her selection, and the guiding of sexual energy to its legitimate end in the production 
of the best possible children. — ^A Gerson : Die pkysiologischen Orundlagen der 
Arbeitsteilung. The muscular system has exhibited a passing from the large to the 
small muscles in the process of evolution. The division of labour which freed the 
hands assisted to the human level. As between man and woman in primitive life, 
division depended chiefly on custom, but had a physiological basis in the functional 
difference between the upper and lower arms. — S. Schilder : Die manoktdtur in der 
Weltwirtsehaft. 



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BOOKS RECEIVED Z03 



BOOKS RECEIVED. 

Van Bruyssel, E. La Vie Sociale. Flammarion, Paris. 

Harrison, F. The Philosophy of Common Sense. Macmillan & Co., 

7s. 6d. 
Moore, J. Howard. The Universal Kinship. George Bell & Sons, 

4s. 6d. 
Macdonald, G. The Ethics of Revolt. Duckworth & Co., Ss. 
Strong, Mrs. Arthur. Roman Sculpture from Augustus to Constantine. 

Duckworth & Co., los. net. 
Wrixon, Sir H. The Pattern Nation. Macmillan & Co., 3s. 
Swiney, F. The Cosmic Procession. Ernest Bell, 3s. 6d. 
De Tourville, H. The Growth of Modem Nations. Messrs. Arnold, 

I2S. 6d. net. 
Edwards, Clement. Railway Nationalisation. Methuen & Co. 
Jenks, Edward. An Outline of English Local Government 

Methuen & Co. 
Meakin, Annette M.B. Woman in Transition. Methuen & Co., 6s. 
Aves, Ernest. Co-operative Industry. Methuen & Co., 6s. 
Ryan. A Living Wage. Macmillan. 

Marx, Karl. Capital, vol. ii. Swan, Sonnenschein & Co., los. 6d. 
Richter, E. Pictures of the Socialistic Future. Swan, Sonnen- 

chein & Co., is. 
Kirkup, T. Inquiry into Socialism. Longmans & Co., 4s. 6d. net 
Thompson, H. From the Cotton Field to the Cotton Mill. Mac- 
millan. 6s. 6d. net 
Mackenzie, J. S. Lectures on Humanism. Swan, Sonnenschein & Co., 

4s. 6d. 
Theal, Dr. G. M. History and Ethnography in South Africa. Swan, 

Sonnenschein & Co. 
Russell, E. B., & Rigby. L. M. The Making of a Criminal. Mac- 
millan & Co. 
Creighton, Louise. Economics of the Household. Longmans, 

Green & Co. 
Bray, R. A. The Town Child. Fisher Unwin. 
Chadwick, H. Munro. The Origin of the English Nation. Cambridge 

University Press. 
Dale, E. National Life in Early English Literature. Cambridge 

University Press. 
Murray, Gilbert. Rise of the Greek Epic. Oxford, Clarendon Press. 
Seymour. T. D. Life in the Homeric Age. The Macmillan Co., New 

York. 
Westlake, J. International Law, Part II., War. Cambridge University 

Press. 
Keatinge, M. W. Suggestion in Education. Black & Co., 4s. 6d. net 
Davidson, W. The Stoic Creed. T. & T. Clark, Edinburgh. 
Short, E. A History of Sculpture. Heinemann & Co. 
Kennard, Dr. H. P. The Russian Peasant T. Werner Laurie, 6s. net 
Urwick, W. E. The Child's Mind. Arnold, 4s. 6d. net 
Drummond, W. B. An Introduction to Child Study. Arnold, 6s. net 
Anderson, Sir Robert. Criminals and Crime. Some Facts and 

Suggestions. Nisbet, Ss. net 



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Z04 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

Dyer and Hassall. Modem Europe, vols. i-vL George Bell & Sons. 
Bridges, J. H. (the late). Essays and Addresses. Chapman & Hall, 

I2S. 6d. net. 
Wendell, Barrett The France of To-day. Constable, 6s. net 
Lampson, G. L. A Consideration ot the State of Ireland in the 19th 

Century. Constable, i8s. net 
Jannssen, J. History of the German People, vols. xi. & xii. K«an 

Paul. 
Poincar^. L, The New Physics. Kegan Paul, Ss. 
Stephen, L. The Science of Ethics. Smith, Elder, 7s. 6d. net 
Loewy, E. Translated by J. Fothergill. Nature in Greek Art 

Duckworth & Co., 5s. net 



NOTICES. 

The following programme of meetings of the Sociological Society has been 
arranged for the remainder of the session : — 

Dr. BoBERT HiTTCHisoN Monday, January 20th 

"INFANT MORTALITY" 
(Second of a series on Medico- Sociology). 

Mr. I. Gibbon Monday, February 3rd 

"PAST AND FUTUBE DEVELOPMENTS OF HUMAN SOCIETIES." 

Mr. S. K. Batcliffi Monday, Febniary 17th 

"ASPECTS OF THE SOCIAL MOVEMENT IN INDIA." 

Dr. Albert Wilson Monday, March 9th 

"PSYCHOLOGY OF CRIME." 

Principal Jivonb Monday, March 23rd 

"MAGIC." 

Professor Graham Brooks Monday, April 6th 

"BECENT PHASES OF BACE CONTACT IN THE UNITED STATES." 

The Hon. Sir C. Lewis Tuppbr Monday, May 4th 

"SOCIOLOGY AND COMPABATIVE POLITICS." 

Mr. E. J. Urwick Monday, May Uth 

"SOCIOLOGY IN BELATION TO SOCIAL PBOGBESS." 

The new department of Sociology in the University of London, founded by 
Mr. J. Martin White, Hon. Treasurer of the Sociological Society, was formally 
inaugurated at the School of Economics on Tuesday, December 17th. The two new 
professors gave addresses : Professor Hobhouse, on " The Boots of Sociology," and 
Professor Westermarck, on "Sociology as a University Study." The meeting was 
presided over by Sir William Collins, Vice-Chanoellor of the University of London. 

A new journal of considerable sociological interest and importance has been 
started by Dr. Bodolphe Broda, under the title of "The International" {Fisher 
Unwin). It is published simultaneously in English, French and German. 

A new Society has been formed in London tor the propagation of Eugenics, with 
the name "Eugenics Education Society." The Hon. Secretary is Mrs. Gotto, 82 
Vincent Square, Westminster. 



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THE 

Sociological Review 

VOL. L No. 2. APRIL, 1908. 

THE DEFINITION OF MAGIC. 

(i) Magic is, at the present day, condemned by science, 
morality and religion. 

By science it is condemned as a means : magic simply does not 
do what it professes to do. 

By morality it is condemned just so far as its ends are morally 
wrong: whether it is an efficacious means to those ends is a 
question which does not concern morality ; and if the ends are, as 
in a minority of cases (those designated sometimes as White Magic) 
they may be, morally inoffensive or even praiseworthy, no moral 
question arises as to the means; and magic then is not morally 
offensive, however silly it may be from the point of view of the 
intellect. 

By religion it is condemned as a means, so far, and only so far, 
as it has recourse to the aid of evil spirits, or so far as it is practised 
by those who have communications with them. Its ends also 
are condemned inasmuch as no permissible ends can be the real 
intention of evil spirits. 

(2) But though magic is now condemned by science, morality 
and religion, it has in past times succeeded in allying itself with 
each of them. 

Medicine and alchemy or chemistry are sciences which have 
only comparatively recently disengaged themselves from magic. 

Witch-finding and exorcism are processes of a magical nature 
which the moral sense of the community practising them strongly 
approves of. 

Magic was incorporated, with the minimum of necessary change, 
into religion in Babylonia, Assyria, Egypt, and elsewhere. 

(3) The connection of magic with science is explained by Dr. 
Frazer (History of the Kingship, p. 38) : '* Magic is a spurious 
system of natural law as well as a fallacious guide of conduct, a 
false science as well as an abortive art." '*The views of natural 
causation embraced by the savage magician no doubt appear to us 
as manifestly false and absurd ; yet in their day they were legitimate 

A 



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io6 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

hypotheses, though they have not stood the test of experience" 
(p. 91). ** Regarded as a system of natural law, that is, as a 
statement of the rules which determine the sequence of events 
throughout the world, it (magic) may be called Theoretical Magic : 
regarded as a set of precepts which human beings observe in order 
to compass their ends, it may be called Practical Magic *' (p. 39). 
Magic, as a system of natural law, is based on two principles of 
thought, which in their day were legitimate hypotheses: "first, 
that like produces like; and, second, that things which have once 
been in contact continue to act on each other even after the contact 
has been severed" (p. 37). From this it seems to follow — though 
I am not sure whether Dr. Frazer would admit the consequence — 
that magic would not arise until the idea began to dawn on men 
that these two principles of thought were not legitimate hypotheses. 
So long as they were believed legitimate and regarded as a system 
of natural law, there was no magic in them : they were simply a 
statement of the rules which determine the sequence of events 
throughout the world. It was when suspicion — ^well-founded 
suspicion, as eventually appeared— began to fall upon them, that 
they began to be illegitimate, and — ^as illegitimate — magical. On 
this view. Dr. Frazer's theory shows us the origin of magic by 
taking us back to a period when the belief in magic did not exist, 
and points out how, and out of what, it grew up. 

Further, on Dr. Frazer's view, magic preceded religion : it 
was when and because magic did not act successfully, that man 
concluded there were powers which could not be constrained by 
magic and which therefore must be supplicated. The belief in 
such powers was or became religion. 

Differing from Dr. Frazer, Mr. L. T. Hobhouse (Morals in 
Evolution, vol. ii. ch. i and 2) holds that magic is not prior to 
religion. Mr. Hobhouse considers that the categories (of substance 
and attribute, quality and relation, identity and difference) which 
for primitive thought are ''interwoven in wild confusion," are 
eventually distinguishable and essentially distinct, even if primitive 
man has not yet distinguished them. 

So too, assuming that magic and religion at the outset are inter- 
woven in wild confusion, it follows that magic is not (as Dr. Frazer 
holds) prior to religion, and either that magic and religion are 
eventually distinguishable and essentially distinct, or that magic 
and religion are really to the end and in their essence, indistin- 
guishable. In the latter case then, they are not interwoven by 
primitive man in wild confusion but are recognised by him for what 



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THE DEFINITION OF MAGIC 107 

they are found (by civilised man) really to be, viz,, essentially the 
same thing. This view, which is contradictory to the assumption 
that magic and religion are things distinct from one another but 
confused together by primitive man, is consistent with and implied 
by the statement that " magic and religion are not in their working 
fundamentally opposed" (ii. p. 23). 

But whether magic and religion are essentially the same thing 
must (on this view) be settled by consideration of them as they 
present themselves to the mind of civilised man. The fact (if it is 
a fact) that they present themselves to the mind of primitive man 
in wild confusion will not suffice to show that they are really 
indistinguishable, for to him other things also (substance and 
attribute, etc.) are wildly confused which to us are quite distin- 
guishable and essentially distinct. 

The assumption of an essential and fundamental distinction 
between magic and religion, which distinction is obscured from 
the view of primitive man by his wild confusion, is consistent with 
the view that the two ideas *'do not at once emerge into clear 
consciousness — the mind uses them long before it is clearly aware 
of them " (Hobhouse, ii. 25). 

The real question is whether magic and religion are things 
distinct and fundamentally opposed or not. We must answer that 
question one way or the other before we can decide whether primi- 
tive man was guilty of wild confusion of thought or not guilty. 

If there is a distinct and fundamental opposition, then it may 
be granted that it did not at once emerge into clear consciousness, 
and that the mind felt the distinction dimly and obscurely long 
before it became clearly aware of the distinction. The early history 
of religion will then be concerned with tracing the way in which the 
confusion of primitive thought was dissipated. 

But if magic is religion and religion is magic, then primitive 
man saw or felt from the beginning the truth— a truth which, 
though seen by some modern thinkers, is considered by most to 
be no truth but a wild confusion. If primitive man, so far from 
being guilty of confusion of thought on this point, was right in 
feeling the identity of magic with religion, then the continued 
struggle of religion to assert a difference between magic and religion 
has been a movement of error, of retrogression, not of progress : 
the fundamental identity of magic and religion is a fact-^nd Dr. 
Frazer is wrong in maintaining that there is a fundamental opposi- 
tion between them. 



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zo8 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

(4) The connection of magic with religion seems, however, 
in some cases clearly to be that a relation of opposition exists 
between them. But magic and science, which also come to be 
opposed to one another, were not originally opposed or even dis- 
tinguished, if Dr. Frazer's view be correct. It is therefore a 
possible conjecture that magic and religion, like magic and 
science, only come to be differentiated from one another in the 
course of their evolution from a common source. That is the view 
which seems to be held — or to be intimated — ^by MM. Hubert and 
Mauss (in L' Annee Sociologique, vol. vii., ** Esquisse d'une 
thtorie g^n^rale de la Magie "). The common source from which 
both magic and religion spring is the notion (to which Dr. 
Codrington first called the attentionof students) which is designated 
by the Melanesian word mana — a. word which, it seems, applies in 
Melanesia both to magic and to religious rites, to spirits both 
religious and magical. 

This conception introduces us at once to two facts which Dr. 
Frazer's theory of magic tends to ignore. The first is the belief 
in spirits or demons; the next is that the magician is believed to 
have power to do magic, whether we call that power mana, with 
the Melanesians, or orenda with the Hurons, or whether we seek 
for its explanation elsewhere. The belief that some persons have 
the power to do magic — persons with the evil-eye, hunchbacks, 
one-eyed men, women, strangers, foreigners and enemies — is a 
belief which at certain stages of social evolution is shared by all 
members of a society : it is not a freak of some one individual's 
fancy, nor a belief which, though entertained by the ignorant 
majority, is seen by an enlightened few to be a spurious system of 
natural law. It is a collective belief, a sociological fact. It is the 
collective belief of society as a whole, at a certain period of its 
growth, that certain persons have the power to do marvellous 
things — a power which is mysterious, and not the less so because 
it is usually exercised in secret. Amongst the marvellous things 
which the magician can do, at times, is to command spirits; 
demonology to some extent, or in some of its aspects, undoubtedly 
comes within the province of magic. Demonology is of course 
quite distinguishable from mimetic and sympathetic magic; but 
like them, in the opinion of MM. Hubert and Mauss, it has its 
root in the notion of mana, or power which may manifest itself 
as the power exercisetf by the magician, as the power appertaining 
to the rite, or as the power of spirits or demons. The muna power 
manifested in these three ways is rather differentiated than different 



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THE DEFINITION OF MAGIC xop 

from the mana which is manifested in religion. The differentiation 
of mana into magic and religion took place so early in the growth 
of society that MM. Hubert and Mauss do not undertake to give 
us instances of it ; but it is, I presume, similar to the differentiation 
of magic and science, which in the case of medicine and alchemy 
was not completely effected until very late times. Finally MM. 
Hubert and Mauss admit that but few instances of the explicit 
belief in mana are known to us; but that, they say (p. ii6) ** ought 
not to make us doubt that it has been universal." Indeed they go 
so far as to say (p. ii8) **we have a right to conclude that every- 
where there has existed a notion which includes that of magical 
power." This conclusion is one, I should say, which yet requires 
proof. 

(5) The connection between magic and religion, which is 
treated by MM. Hubert and Mauss from the point of view of 
Sociology, has also recently been examined by Wundt from the 
point of view of Psychology, in vol. ii. part ii. of his Votkerpsy" 
chologie. I will approach his theory by making two references to 
MM. Hubert and Mauss. First, Wundt takes primitive man's 
conception of the soul as the starting point for his theory of magic ; 
while they, on the other hand, consider the notion of spiritual force 
as anterior, in magic at least, to the notion of soul (p. 106). 
This would seem to imply — but I may be wrong — that a belief in 
magic, in the spiritual force or W4ina of the magician himself, of 
the rites of mimetic and sympathetic magic, and of spirits or 
demons, is anterior to the notion of soul. If this interpretation of 
MM. Hubert and Mauss is correct, then the French view and the 
German view are diametrically opposed, and we have to choose 
between them. On the one view the notion of soul is absolutely 
essential to the origin of the belief in magic; on the other it is 
essentially irrelevant, for the belief in magic (and in spirits or 
demons) is anterior to the notion of soul. The other reference I 
have to make to MM. Hubert and Mauss indicates an important 
point of agreement between them and the great German psycholo- 
gist : the magician's belief in his own powers is, MM. Hubert and 
Mauss say, ** the reflex " of the community's belief (p. 96). That 
is to say, first, the community believes that magic and marvels are 
done ; next, that they are done by someone ; then that the someone 
is this or that person ; and finally this or that person himself believes 
that he had and has the power of doing the thing. 

Wundt's theory calls upon us at the start (p. 180, n. i) to reject 
Dr. Frazer's view of magic. Dr. Frazer attributes to primitive 



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no THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

man a theory of causation (that like produces like, that things 
originally connected act on each other even when no longer in 
contact): magic is based upon **the views of natural causation 
embraced by the savage magician.'* But if primitive man has no 
theory of natural causation and no conception of cause in our sense 
of the word, Dr. Frazer's view of magic collapses : it proceeds 
upon an inversion of the actual, historical, order of the facts. 
Primitive man, in fact, Wundt says, has no notion of natural 
causation. For him events are familiar or surprising, ordinary or 
extraordinary, normal or abnormal, expected or unexpected, natural 
or unnatural, and therefore comprehensible or incomprehensible. 
Natural, ordinary, common-place events excite no surprise, and do 
not stimulate thought or attention : they call for no explanation, 
and are accepted, without any theorising, just as they happen. It 
is the surprising, unexpected occurrences which attract attention 
and demand to be accounted for. Now, primitive man has only 
one way of accounting for things : if something happens, somebody 
did it. Man has the power to do things. This remarkable thing 
therefore which has happened was done by some man. What is 
further remarkable about it is that, whereas in the ordinary course 
of things a man is seen to do what he does do, in this instance 
nobody was seen to do it. The man who did it was therefore 
keeping out of the way and was at a distance. How he did it is 
mysterious, and the thing itself is disquieting and alarming. What 
is certain — on a priori grounds — is that somebody did it : therefore 
he had the power to do it, and he did it mysteriously, from a 
distance. An event thus brought about is a marvel : so long as 
it is supposed to be brought about by a man, it is a piece of magic ; 
when it is ascribed (as, according to Wundt, in later, but not in 
primitive times, it is ascribed) to a god, it is a miracle. 

It is therefore the marvellous and mysterious things, sudden 
changes of fortune, especially illness and death, which are ascribed 
originally to the will and the power of some man at a distance ; and 
in later times to the will and power of a god. 

The practical question which was raised by ascribing the marvel 
to some man was. Who is the man? And Wundt's position is 
that a man with the evil eye is looked upon with the fear which is 
quite enough to suggest. He is the man.^ The soul issues in the 

• In thifl Wundt had been anticipated by Morris Ja*trow (Religion of Babylonia 
ana Asswta) who says: ''this belief may have originated in the abnormal appearance 
presented by certain individuals in consequence of physical deformities . . . The 
uncanny impression made by dwarfs, persons with a strange look in their eyes, and, 
above all, the insane, would give rise to tlie view that some people possessed peculiar 
powers. 



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THE DEFINITION OF MAGIC xii 

glance from the eye, and acts directly on the soul of the person on ' 
whom the glance alights. That is an instance of the direct or 
immediate action of soul upon soul which is, according to Wundt, 
the primary form of magic. In the secondary form of magic the 
action of soul upon soul tends to disappear from view, leaving only 
the wholly vague idea of mysterious action from a distance. This 
idea, however, is reached only by degrees ; and we may recognise 
in indirect magic two such stages leading up to it. The first, 
Wundt terms symbolic magic, for its essence is symbolism. An 
enemy is symbolised by something which may, but need not be, 
an image of him. The symbol, like the person symbolised, is 
body and soul. The association of the ideas of the symbol and the 
symbolised is so close that what is done to the symbol is irresistibly 
believed to be done to the person symbolised. The action then 
is no longer direct : it acts through the symbol. It is also active 
from a distance. And it is even more marvellous than such direct 
action as that of the evil eye. The second stage of indirect magic 
is reached when the agent no longer knows that the action (say of 
tying a tree or other object) symbolises anything, but believes that 
somehow (how exactly, is the marvel) the desired effect is produced. 
The meaning of the symbol has disappeared, vanished, from 
memory. The idea that the tree is supposed to be your enemy, 
body and soul, is no longer present : the action of soul on soul is 
no longer part of the idea, and is no longer symbolised. What 
remains is termed by Wundt purely ** magischer Zauber " : action 
from a distance in an incomprehensible way. 

The origin, then, of the belief in magic, according to Wundt, 
is to be found in primitive man's a priori assumption that man 
alone does things, that he alone has the power to do things. An 
event sufficiently striking to arrest attention is accounted for by the 
satisfactory explanation that somebody did it — unseen, at a distance 
and mysteriously or marvellously. The power thus to work 
marvels then differs from the mana which MM. Hubert and Mauss 
invoke, because mana resides according to them in spirits or 
demons and in the magical rites, from the beginning, as well as in 
man ; whereas the power on which Wundt relies is that supposed 
to reside in the human will, that is, in the human soul, alone. 

The question suggests itself: did primitive man believe that 
man alone does things? Did he not believe that animals and 
inanimate objects also do things, marvellous things? Wundt's 
position seems to be that in course of time man came to believe 
that animals and inanimate objects do things, and marvellous 



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JX2 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

things ; but that he began first with the first fact in this line known 
to him, viz., that man does things. Is it the first fact however ? 
May not the first fact man realised have been that things are done 
to him ? He is object as soon as he is subject ; it may even be 
argued that the child suffers, and knows it, before he acts con- 
sciously or self-consciously. 

Even if we might assume that in primitive man's eyes from the 
beginning animals and inanimate objects (as we regard them) did 
wonderful things, the question would arise, however, whether we 
should properly class them as magical : is it not of the essence of 
the idea of magic that it is something done by a man ? that magic 
is impossible without a magician ? If so, then we have a note or 
a mark whereby to distinguish one class of marvels from other 
classes with which primitive man is acquainted. Ghosts, for 
instance, are marvellous and alarming, but they are not magical 
when they come of their own free will and for their own ends, 
though there may be magic in the power which enables the witch 
to raise them for her own purposes. The same may be said of 
storms and the spirits of the storm, etc. 

It may, therefore, be that from the beginning marvels were 
worked by animals and inanimate objects and not by man alone ; 
and that the marvels ascribed to the action of some man working 
in secret from a distance were alone what we term magic. 

(6) The relation of magic to morality then becomes a question 
which admits of discussion, if by magic we understand marvels 
wrought by a man for his private ends. First, this definition of 
magic allows us to understand the fact that, though not all magic is 
necessarily the subject of moral condemnation or of the disapproval 
of public opinion, still in most cases public opinion does condemn 
it. Sickness and death are the things which are generally first and 
most usually ascribed to the operation of magic : and the man who 
causes them naturally does so for his own ends, and so is marked 
off for general condemnation as well as for general fear. Next, 
though the man who works magic does it primarily for his own 
ends, inasmuch as he has the power to do marvels he may be 
induced to do them for the public benefit. If he does, and so far 
as he does so, he enjoys public approval and occupies a public 
office : he may make rain or secure food or do other desirable 
things; and the rites employed for such purposes may pass, in 
course of time, definitely over to religion. There they may be 
continued as rites which when performed in the traditional way 
are effective in themselves and do not postulate any magical or 



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THE DEFINITION OF MAGIC XX3 

special power in the person performing them beyond his official 
power as priest : his power is no longer personal but ex officio, 
and thus it differs from that of the man who is a magician, that is 
to say, who has a power personal to himself which ordinary people 
have not. It differs also in the fact that it can only act for the 
public good and cannot be used for personal ends. The power is 
taken up by the community in its religious character or function, 
and so is deprived of its anti-social and anti-religious quality. 
Eventually, the rite for making rain may unite with prayer for 
rain : indeed it does so amongst very undeveloped peoples. And 
eventually the rite may be dropped and the prayer alone remain. 

But, though morality may, on its own terms, tolerate the 
employment of magic, no one has ever suggested that magic is 
the source of morality; and it seems equally improbable to sup- 
pose that magic is the source of religion because religion has 
admitted rites which, on admission, have been deprived of their 
anti-social character, and eventually have been robbed of their 
original meaning by the development of the mental attitude of 
prayer. Indeed, neither the English, French, or German theories 
of magic, which have been discussed above, take magic to be the 
source of religion, even • if magic developes sooner and more 
rapidly than religion. 

(7) There is then an agreement of opinion that — in the words 
of Dr. Frazer in his preface (p. xvi.) to the second edition of the 
Golden Bough — there is ** a fundamental distinction and even 
opposition of principle between magic and religion." The next 
point on which an agreement between experts is required is 
whether there is or is not a fundamental distinction and even 
opposition of principle between magic and science. Dr. Frazer 
sometimes expresses himself in a way which may be interpreted, 
or misinterpreted, to mean that magic and science both go back 
to one principle — that of universal causation — ^and are only slowly 
and painfully disentangled and dissociated from one another. 
But, nevertheless, the general trend of his line of thought makes 
it clear, I think, that he really believes there is a fundamental 
distinction and opposition of principle between magic and science. 
In either case, however, what is the fundamental distinction ? It 
lies in this, that the worker of magic is believed to work his magic 
because he has a mysterious, incomprehensible power to do so. 
The relation of magic to science and to religion is that magic 
undertakes to do the work of both, and to do it by mysterious 
means superior to those at the command of either. The quality 



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XI4 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

essential to the magician is the belief that he has the power to do 
wonders — a belief that must be entertained both by the magician 
and his clientele. 

The magician may pose as a physician or as a chemist or 
alchemist ; and may claim to have secret and wonderful processes 
which are akin to science but are of a superior kind because they 
produce superior results. But in due, if slow, course of time, he 
and his mysteries are ejected from science, whose canon is that a 
scientific experiment can always be repeated when the necessary 
conditions are fulfilled, and that the personal qualities of the person 
performing the experiment are no part, say, of the chemical 
equation. 

In religion also thaumaturgic powers are claimed by or on 
behalf of persons who are supposed to have received power to do 
marvels. It may be held that religion must eventually discard 
miracles as science has purged itself of magic. Whether this be 
so or not, however, we must not allow ourselves to forget the 
fundamental difference between the marvels of magic and the 
miracles of religion, viz., that the magician works his wonders in 
virtue of a mysterious power personal to himself, whereas the man 
of God is believed to do miracles in virtue of divine power bestowed 
upon him. 

One aspect of magic, in regard to which there is agreement 
between Wundt and MM. Hubert and Mauss (who here follow 
Codrington's view) is that the magician has power to do wonders, 
and does them in virtue of the power he possesses. Dr. Frazer, 
on the other hand, though he admits the power, does not formally 
place it in the forefront of his explanation of magic. But if there 
is to be a real and explicit agreement between students as to the 
nature of magic, it is much to be desired that Dr. Frazer should 
consider whether there is any insuperable difficulty, from his point 
of view, in assenting to the proposition that a magician to be a 
magician must possess this personal power. 

A second aspect of magic, on which there must be agreement, 
if we are to have an accepted theory of magic, is that magic is the 
power to do extraordinary and marvellous things. Dr. Frazer's 
position is that magic is a system of natural law, spurious, indeed, 
but nevertheless a system of natural law; whereas other investi- 
gators seem agreed that magic is the power to do unusual and 
abnormal things. Now, the fact seems to be that magic constantly 
seeks to effect, and frequently succeeds in effecting, an alliance with 
science and religion, but is finally rejected as spurious by both. 



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THE DEFINITION OF MAGIC 115 

If, therefore, Dr. Frazer would allow us, when he defines magic as 
" a spurious system of natural law," to understand that he 
emphasizes the word '* spurious " in such a way that magic is 
*' a false science " in the sense that, being false and spurious, 
it is not science at all ; then it may turn out that a general agree- 
ment even on this point is not impossible. The avowed object of 
the magician, we might then agree, is not to bring about natural 
things in the natural way, but to bring about non-natural things 
in a way and by virtue of a power personal to himself. 

We might then, by general agreement, perhaps go even farther 
and say that this power produces results which, being abnormal 
and marvellous, are not so much non-natural as supernatural : it 
is the power — as Dr. Codrington says of the Melanesian mana — 
which is called in to account for ** everything which is beyond the 
power of ordinary men, outside the common processes of nature." 
But Dr. Codrington goes further and says, ** it is the belief in this 
supernatural power and in the efficacy of the various means by 
which spirits and ghosts can be induced to exercise it for the 
benefit of men that is the foundation of the rites and practices 
which can be called religious ; and it is from the same belief that 
everything which may be called magic and witchcraft draws its 
origin." If these words of Dr. Codrington's are understood to 
imply that magic and religion have a common source, are differ- 
entiated from one and the same belief, then we must point out 
that such interpretation of them is exposed to the same difficulties 
and objections as is the view that magic and science are derived 
from a common source — differentiated from one and the same 
belief. Magic poses, and is often accepted, as a superior way of 
doing what science or religion does ; but eventually it is rejected 
as being, and as having always been, fundamentally unscientific 
or irreligious. As Dr. Frazer says, there is *' a fundamental 
distinction and even opposition of principle between magic and 
religion"; and, though Wundt's Volkerpsychologie is not yet 
completed, I think it would be safe to say that he inclines to the 
same view. And I would suggest, as a point for consideration, 
whether agreement is not more likely to be reached, and fruitful 
results more likely to be attained, if we recognise a fundamental 
distinction on the one hand between magic and science and on 
the other between magic and religion. 

(9) We may next note that Wundt's theory of Animism differs 
from the now classical view of Professor Tylor, in that according 
to Wundt man first believes he had a soul himself, and only after- 



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1X6 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

wards came to inject, as it were, souls into things. Wundt's 
magic — his direct magic, that is the action of soul on soul — 
belongs to what he considers the first and most primitive period 
of animism. 

MM. Hubert and Mauss, on the other hand, assume that, at 
the beginning, all things were believed to be animate; and they 
place the discovery of man's soul later than the belief in magic. 
Thus they differ principially from Wundt : according to their view, 
direct magic, the action of soul on soul, could not be the earliest 
form of the belief in magic. 

Now, magic deals with extraordinary events; and is the 
assumption that somebody did them. According to Wundt, that 
somebody, in the first instance, must have been a living man, 
(living, I think), and cannot, in the first instance, have been an 
animated thing. This view of Wundt's, however, seems to be 
open to some doubt. Let us, therefore, at present regard it as 
quite legitimate to hold that, from the first, objects (inanimate 
for us, but living beings for early man) could be the doers of 
extraordinary things, could be invoked as a possible explanation 
of extraordinary things, when they happened. Does it follow 
that the action of objects presented itself as identical in its way of 
operation with the action of human beings? Did a ghost or a 
rock when it acted require magic to enable it to act, as a man does 
when he causes the illness or death of a foe ? The probability, I 
suggest, is that ghosts and spirits do extraordinary things because 
" it is their nature to " — they are there for no other reason than to 
do (or to account for) extraordinary things. But ordinary men do 
ordinary things : only magicians (and then only on exceptional 
occasions) do exceptional things. 

This line of thought tends to the conclusion that it is misleading 
to group the power of magicians along with that of ghosts or 
spirits ; and that MM. Hubert and Mauss are on a false scent when 
pursuing mana to this extent. On the other hand, Wundt would 
seem to assume rather than to prove that belief in the power of the 
magician originated much earlier than belief in the power, or even 
the existence, of spirits. 

Still the fact remains that men, ghosts and spirits are all persons 
or (more vaguely) personalities; and that all possess their power 
simply and solely because they are personalities^-or rather they 
are personalities because power is attributed to them ; and power 
is attributed to them because effects are ascribed to them. The 
argument in all cases is : this extraordinary thing has been done : 



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THE DEFINITION OF MAGIC 117 

who did it? The answer may be *' this rock, that ghost, some 
unknown man." But, whereas no further explanation is required, 
if the answer be ** this rock or that ghost " (for all objects, regarded 
as personalities, and all ghosts can do extraordinary things) ; if the 
answer be, ** some unknown — or yonder known — man," then 
further explanation is needed, and is found in the fact that the man 
who can do extraordinary things is an extraordinary man. But 
the ghost or spirit who can do extraordinary things is not an extra- 
ordinary ghost : all ghosts and spirits do marvels — that is what 
they are there for. A man is a magician who does what ordinary 
men cannot. Hence the very same marvel, when done by a man 
is magic ; when done by a spirit or ghost, is not. The question 
then arises whether we are to believe with Wundt that, at the first, 
marvels were ascribed only to magicians ; and that only later were 
spirits allowed to do, or invoked to account for, wonders. Should 
we not rather hold with MM. Hubert and Mauss that marvels were 
put down to the action of ghosts and spirits quite as early as they 
were to the action of magicians? But though we go so far with 
MM. Hubert and Mauss, need we go with them further and consider 
that ghosts and spirits originally did supernatural things only by 
means of magic, or that magicians originally did their marvels by 
means of something that was not magic ? I trust this will not be 
regarded as an unfair way of stating their view of mana. The only 
alternative to it that I can see is to say that, from the beginning, 
ghosts, in order to do their marvels, had no need of magic, whereas 
man could never work wonders without it. In fine I would suggest 
that the genius of Wundt has in principle solved the problem of 
magic by demonstrating that magic is not a later or derived form 
of some previous conception, whether that of mana or that of 
universal causation, but dates from the earliest time at which man, 
when astonished or alarmed (say at the illness and death of mother 
or father) put to himself, or others, the question. Who did it? 
The answer to that question may carry with it magic, as it does if 
the answer be ** some man, working at a distance and in mystery " ; 
or, if it be that Apollo or Artemis has done this thing, the answer 
is religious. It is unreasonable to say that because the question is 
the same there can be no real difference in the answers : even 
though both answers be wrong, they may be different. 

F. B. Jevons. 



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118 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 



THE FAMILY AND THE CITY: THEIR FUNCTIONAL 

RELATIONS. 

I. The Family as the Growing Point of the Social Structure. 

Leslie Stephen points out that, unlike every other association, 
the family is fundamental. In whatever special form it may exist, 
it always has its roots in the same instincts. **The family. . . . 
depends at once upon the most primitive instincts of our nature, 
which are the direct products of our organic constitution. The 
love of man and woman or of mother and child constitutes a bond 
which requires and admits of no further explanation by reference 
to other emotions. It is, of course, true that other instincts, and 
indeed every instinct of which we are capable, come to group 
themselves round this central instinct and strengthen the primitive 
tie. But that tie is more or less the ground of every other, the 
antecedent assumption in all human society, and, therefore, not 
explicable as a product of other modes of association." (Science 
of Ethics, p. 132.) He further adds, after indicating the immense 
social changes that may follow a change in the family mode, 
^' And thus, from a scientific point of view at least, the family is 
not in any case the product of the political arrangement, but rather 
one of the primitive arrangements which determine the nature of 
the state." (op, cit., p. 133.) 

The family thus creates the city; not the city the family. It 
is a common fallacy to place city and family on the same plane 
as if they were a larger and a smaller aggregate of the same 
kind. No mistake can be greater. The internal .instincts or 
external pressures that bring together men into a city, may flow 
from the primary family instinct ; but they are derived from it and 
do not produce it. It is legitimate to regard the city as a great 
family; but it is not legitimate to regard the family as merely a 
reduced city. 

The functions of the city are not, as popular belief imagines, 
antagonistic to the functions of the family or alien to it; on the 
contrary, they grow out of it. The family instinct is their life- 
blood, their motive power, their true form, their end. 

Our hardened popular conceptions of institutions, as if they 
were but externally related to each other, will neither serve to 
unify our social theory, nor justify our social practice. One 



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THE FAMILY AND THE CITY 119 

cannot help hearing the persistent wail that attends the present 
rapid transformation of parental responsibility, for example, into 
a higher form. In the modern world, from before the day when 
Social Statics, appeared, until now, we have not wanted for 
prophets to explain to us how the bonds of society must loosen 
and decay when the contemporary ethic of the family proceeds to 
assimilate new growths. I remember well with what perfect 
lucidity I seemed to see all Herbert Spencer's final reasons against 
the incipient movement towards public education, the incipient 
organisation of life amid the unspeakable welter of city slumdom. 
Nothing seemed more simple than that school boards were all a 
mistake, just as sanitary boards and practically all other boards 
'were. The argument, if I remember rightly, went down even to 
the details of street paving and convinced us how infinitely 
preferable for the moral good of the individual it would be for him 
to put down his own part of the pavement rather than accept the 
same service from himself in his capacity as citizen. And 
Spencer's clearness of vision, his remorseless pushing of this 
theory to its limits, did a good service in its day; but, however 
much he may have affected the individual thinker, he did nothing 
to stop the movement towards representative institutions and the 
whole growth of modern local government is, it seems to me, 
antagonistic to his primary analysis in Social Statics. If no 
logic that admitted his own premises has successfully answered 
his conclusions, he has nevertheless been answered by the logic 
of history. 

With all that has been said about the importance of the family, 
its functional service as the infant school of ethics, its primary 
significance in every society, I have no wish to disagree. Even 
if I suggest that, at the present moment, the current half-realised 
conception of the family as an isolated social unit, an atom, has 
failed, because that conception was itself a fiction, or rather a 
dissociated hypothesis, I do not, therefore, say that social regenera- 
tion from the very same roots is not possible. What has made, 
will unmake and remake. So long as there is a father, a mother 
and a child, so long will there be a family capable of creating a 
new society. So much we may take for granted. Here our 
point of view is different. What I wish to ask is what the family 
functionally is in our present civic society. 



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120 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

IL The immediate end of the Family, and the necessary aggrega- 
tion of Families in Clan, Village, Town, City. 

The immediate end, or telos, of the family as a social molecule 
is to provide nurture for the child. Whether there be a child or 
not, it may be an advantage for the man and woman to constitute 
a unit under the same constancy of obligation as a true family of 
father, mother and child ; but no one can say that the social signi- 
ficance of the obligation is on the same plane of importance in the 
two cases. Broadly, if there is no child, there is no family. At 
least, for our purpose, we may take this as the essential point. 
Broadly, therefore, the immediate end of the family is to provide 
nurture for the child. ^ 

But nurture cannot be provided without adequate mechanism. 
The primary necessities of the new-born infant are warmth and 
food. Up to a point, these may both be provided by the mother's 
person alone ; but she in turn demands nurture to keep her fit to 
be the support of her child. Whatever may have been the case 
in the early history of mankind, or in tropical climates, there is 
no question now ^ to the primary necessities of man as he lives 
in Western Europe : in order to provide for his child, he must 
procure food and shelter for the mother. Shelter means housing ; 
food means proteids, carbohydrates, fats, water and salts. The 
building of a house involves labour ; labour involves food-seeking 
by the labourer ; food-seeking in solitude is profitless except where 
the earth produces adequate food. Where it does not, food- 
seeking involves the co-operation of other social units. The family 
of three that can live absolutely alone, unrelated to any other 
three-group, is rare in the modern world, — so rare that it cannot 
be regarded as the normal family. As a country fills up with men, 
the conditions demand greater and greater struggle; food-seeking 
is more difficult, yet more imperative ; labour is less remunerative, 
yet more essential to success. Gradually, the solitary family must 
starve or leave the home in order to seek another family that both 
may survive. The aggregation of families we can see going on 
to-day as simply and as inevitably as we see it in imagination 
among primitive men. And If a single child of one father and 
mother means this necessary fight to wrest food and warmth from 
nature, a second and third and fourth child only intensify the 
necessity for struggle. Hence we have the farm, with its 
labourers ; the hamlet, where they dwell and arrange for food ; the 
village, where they develop industries in co-opferation ; the small 



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THE FAMILY AND THE CITY I2I 

town, where farmer, hamleteer, villager and townsfolk meet at 
market; the large town, towards which all the others contribute 
their stream of goods in exchange for the specialised goods of a 
still greater world; the great cities, which are the thoroughfares 
of continental civilisations. What may have been the sequence 
of the past in this locality or that, among this race or that, I am 
unable to say, because I have not studied the problem ; but as one 
passes through the thinly-populated lands, or the hamlets, or the 
villages, or the small towns of Scotland, one sees endless indica- 
tions of how every institution named has its roots in the primary 
need for food and warmth, or may we say of warmth alone, the 
primary condition that enables the child to convert food material 
into growing tissue. 

III. The Structurat Basis of the Family Sentiment. 

But if we imagine history producing unending currents each 
having its origin in a new family of three, we are not long before 
we notice that, by the inter-relation of families, there comes a 
greater current absorbing the smaller currents. Some groups are 
more closely inter-related than others, until one sometimes finds, 
in isolated localities, a whole village of fathers, mothers, grand- 
fathers, grandmothers, great grandfathers, great grandmothers, 
brothers, sisters, cousins, first cousins, second cousins, and so on 
in all the near and far blood relationships. When people are 
isolated, as in ocean rocks like St. Kilda, we may safely expect 
to find every inhabitant related by blood to every other. But 
these social islands are equally to be found in coast villages, or 
inland villages, so long as they are untouched by the great currents 
of trade. In the days before transit was easy, the most natural 
growth in Scotland, for example, was the clan (the English form 
of the Gaelic word for children), and, apart from the needs of 
defence, the clan meant essentially the individuals of nearest rela- 
tionship. So long as transit was difficult, the territory of the clan 
was limited; the great family kept together; the minor families 
within it became more integrated in the little society, and the 
sense of obligation to one another and for one another was based 
in feelings that every necessity of every day tended to renew. 
There the memory of one another was renewed at sunrise every 
morning and passed into the dream-life every night ; the meaning 
of father and mother and brother and sister and child and grand- 
child and grandfather and grandmother would assume in the 
feelings a full-bodied significance unknown to the casual and 

B 



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122 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

discrete life of the ages of rapid transit. If you go to the Outer 
Hebrides, you will find just thoSe conditions as fresh and vivid 
as they could have been in the early Aryan civilisation. You will 
find grown men with the emotional habits of children ; old men and 
old women feeling towards them as to their first infant; grand- 
fathers, grandmothers, grandsons and granddaughters living in 
an atmosphere of family sentiment that knows only spontaneous 
service, not parental responsibility ; only the actions flowing from 
affection, not the duties required by law; only the delight of 
common sacrifice, not a grudging assent to the exactions of an 
alien organisation ; only the desire to help where need is, not the 
fear that help will kill gratitude. And it is out of such an atmos- 
phere of family sentiment that the sacred obligations arise, — ^the 
sentiment of responsibility for children, the sentiment of duty to 
parents, the sacredness of blood relationship, the unconditional 
obligation of the group to preserve the individual. And not until 
the family numbers out-grow the family sentiment, and the indivi- 
duals begin to lose touch, do we find any question raised of the 
child's duty to the parents or the parents' responsibility for the 
child. Where the social affections predominate, where love is 
lord, the question of duty needs no answer, because it is never 
asked; the child without mother is not motherless, because the 
great family provides for it; father, mother and child alike are 
always at home, the mother with her father and mother, the 
father with his mother and father, the child coming and going and 
tended by all. 

IV. The Family Sentiment as affected by the City. 

But the day comes when the clan ceases to be adequate ; for one 
reason or another, superficially named political, or industrial, or 
geographical, but fundamentally named the struggle for life, the 
day comes when the clan necessarily passes away. The individuals 
scatter up into new attachments. New aggregations form. Among 
others there comes the city, the modern city, which in the majority 
of cases grows out of the mass-organisation of modern manufac- 
turing industry. Here comes a social growth almost morbid in 
the severity of its pressure on individuals. The great families cease 
to be possible. They break up into their minimal units and once 
more it is father, mother and child. But now, under the extreme 
pressure of hunger, they have separated from their closest blood 
relatives and must accept as their friends other detached units 
like themselves. But between these isolated units there cannot be 



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THE FAMILY AND THE CITY 123 

the same intensity of family sentiment. The groups of three must 
do their best to keep that alive by the love of the one father for 
the one mother, the love of the two parents for the one child, 
neither sentiment having the support of the elders of the family 
group. Naturally, the family sentiment tends to atrophy. As 
naturally, the efficiency of the family tends to atrophy. What the 
great family group was able to do in the provision of food, of 
home, of education, of social service generally, the elemental 
families of three cannot achieve in the same fashion. And the 
child of each family must suffer, or a new method of service must 
be discovered. 

But no two strata of society in a city are at the same stage 
of development. To the industrial family now reduced once more, 
under pressure of the mass-organisation, to the father, mother and 
child living in a room, there comes a voice from another stratum 
where the family sentiment has been kept alive by study and 
intercourse and an easier struggle for food. In this stratum, lives 
are longer, labour is easier, culture is higher, and the tradition 
of the family sentiment has all these to support it. The social 
worker whose duty it is to preserve the tradition of the elders 
does not cease to insist on the tradition even where the family has 
fallen to its minimal unity of three. He places on the physiological 
father and mother the same obligation for the child as, in the 
larger social group, he would have placed on the group as a whole. 
Not noting that the father and mother must work for many hours 
a day, unrelieved by any other member of the family, he yet 
demands of the over-burdened father all that only a man of 
leisure can provide, and of the over-driven mother all that only a 
woman of leisure can give. And he names the duty of the father 
and mother parental (not family) responsibility, attaching to it 
the full wealth of sentiment, the full emotion of obligation that 
he could legitimately have exacted only from the larger family 
group. Forgetting that he finds the family in conditions where 
the primary parental duties are impossible, he yet requires of the 
parents the impossible duties. 

Naturally, the family fails. It can survive only by sacrificing 
the individual. Let us see how, in the struggle for existence, it 
creates a new mechanism for its own salvation. This new mech- 
anism is the city. 

V. Industrial aggregation of Families compels organisation of 
City. 

A^ggregSLtion compels organisation, if the aggregating units 



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Z24 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

are to survive. A mob of families, as in an ill-organised camp» 
means so high a death-rate that nearly all the children die. A 
better organised mob means a decreasing death-rate, a greater 
capacity for survival of the group, of the family. From the 
unorganised mob, moved by impulse, to the organised city, moved 
by law, the process is perfectly continuous. Land is limited. 
Houses are necessary. There must be streets to move by, space 
to give air and light, water to make cleaning and cleanliness 
possible, drains to remove soil, artificial light to reduce the dangers 
of darkness, and the thousand other mechanisms organic to the 
city. You can see that everywhere the ultimate object is to 
preserve the family. The city is the protecting cradle for the 
new-born child. 

VI. The City as a Protective Social Growth for the Preservation 
of the Family. 
For the geographically isolated family, the farthest horizon 
is as far off as a man can go for his day's work and come again. 
When the horizon expands, families disintegrate for a time, but 
they create new organs to preserve themselves from extinction. 
The family is always the growing point of society. The derivative 
products are often mistaken themselves for independent growths 
and, when they are attacked, the unthinking person imagines that 
the whole fabric of society is falling to pieces. He fails to note 
that systems, institutions, special forms of social activity are but 
the deposits from an ever-flowing stream. Towns disappear and 
are built again. Countries are depopulated and filled again. 
Customs change, laws fall into disuse, but new customs come and 
new laws are made. It is the same irresistible instinct, the same 
desire, that creates every new society and will continue to create, 
to transform and re-create without end. 

When, therefore, we talk of the decay of responsibility, we 
must speak subject to our knowledge of this invincible process 
of re-growth. The most stable society is a perpetual flux of men 
and institutions. History is a history of transits. We must, 
therefore, be prepared for endless transformations of things appar- 
ently most fixed; we must detach ourselves from the necessities 
of the moment if we would see how the affairs of the moment have 
come to be and if we would foresee what they will become. 

Why has the relation of the city to the family been recently 
so much discussed? To answer this question fully would be to 
write the history of England since the Boer War began. Of the 



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THE FAMILY AND THE CITY laS 

many results of the War, one has been the awakening of the 
people to the need for physical self-examination. For nearly 
twenty years, I might even say eighty years, the great public 
health movement has been preparing the public mind for an era 
of personal hygiene. When the War came, it revealed to millions 
what only few had suspected — that among the individuals of our 
race the standard of fitness is, if not too low for national safety, 
at least lower than it ought to be. The nation was staggered to 
find so many thousands of recruits rejected as unfit for the healthy, 
open-air life of the army. A whole train of problems flowed from 
this fact. It was discovered — what ought to have been common 
knowledge for fifty years — that the infantile mortality was prepos- 
terously high, that the homes were unclean, food unsuitable, 
preventable diseases largely unchecked; that children at school 
suffered from defects of senses, chronic diseases, acute diseases, all 
acting as obstructions to the compelled work of education; that 
physical deterioration, if not true degeneration, was everywhere 
so common as to justify more radical investigation ; that even the 
essential fitness of the family as an institution was seriously 
impugned by large numbers of people. The conviction stole into 
men's minds that, if society is to be regenerated, the regeneration 
must begin with the infant. Hence our army of health visitors, 
the epidemic of milk depdts, the effervescence of charity organisa- 
tion societies, and the hundred other embodiments of irrepressible 
social enthusiasm. Mothers are found ignorant of the elementary 
laws of infant rearing. Fathers are found careless of the primary 
rituals of nature. Fathers and mothers are found unfit to educate 
their children, or are found disinclined to concern themselves with 
the things of the mind. The children, it is found, are ill-nourished. 
They have too little sleep, too little air, too little house-room, too 
little clothing, too little attention from parent or friend. The cry 
at once arises, — Let us feed them. The House of Commons, in 
a generous fit, echoes. Feed them, and the House of Lords repeats 
the echo. Hence it is that the English Statutes to-day contain 
the possibility of a public table everywhere for the school-child 
and the parent is requested to pay where he can, and, if he cannot 
pay directly, he will be permitted to pay as a ratepayer. 

Curiously, this issue has come as an immediate solution of a 
supremely diflicult question. I am not here concerned with the 
adequacy of the solution, though grave doubts are justified : nor 
with the nature of the solution, which seems to have sprung up 
from nowhere and gripped men's minds with a firm conviction. 



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za6 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

I look at the matter merely as an accomplished social fact, just 
like the other manifestations of the family energy in the social 
growths flowing from it. 

Two lines of thought have converged to produce this curious 
social result. One set of men keep insisting on the necessity for 
compelling the parent to attend to his child, to wash him, to feed 
him, to clothe him. They are, without doubt, asserting a great 
and primary duty. Another set of people keep insisting that the 
parent, if he is compelled by the State to perform certain duties, 
has equally the right to the service that will make his performance 
of these duties possible — ^public health service, education service, 
civic service generally. Here, too, we must admit, there is a 
certain truth. But while the Parentalists insist on the one aspect 
too abstractly, the Civicists insist too abstractly on the other. 
Both sides are committing an equal fallacy. They occupy different 
standpoints; but they both seem to speak from the same plane. 
For as the Parentalist insists on one truth — ^the duty of the parent, 
he forgets the other truth — the right of a parent; the Civicist 
equally insists on the one truth — the right of the parent, but forgets 
the other truth — the duty of the parent. But, in both cases, the 
parent is the centre of the contest. It is as a father that he claims 
a right; it is as a father that he has a duty imposed upon him. 
If, in the conditions of his life, he cannot rear his child as perfectly 
as a man should, he not unnaturally looks for the instruments 
that he shall use to help him and he not unnaturally forgets that 
it is on himself the duty lies to discover these instruments and to 
use them ; it does not lie with the great mythical organisation that 
to him is the State. If, on the other hand, the Parentalist critic, 
knowing how much can be done by individual steadiness of 
character, insists that the father shall do more than he actually 
does, he not unnaturally presses too far the one aspect of respon- 
sibility and unintentionally exacts of the father what no single 
father can perform. The father and the critic fail to understand 
each other; they seem to be to each other unpardoning enemies, 
and hence our English feeding law (not yet our Scottish) has 
emerged out of a political contest where each side calls the other 
by foolish names and neither seems to see the end of the movement 
nor the principle of their own creed. 

But if we go back to the primary nature of the family, if we 
satisfy ourselves that the city in all its specialisation, in all its 
organs, is after all but the body of which the family instinct is 
the soul, the enlarged organisation of which the family is the 



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THE FAMILY AND THE CITY 137 

embryo^ we shall find that the father and his critic can easily be 
reconciled. The father, in going to the public school to find 
education for his son, is not going to an alien association where 
he has no right; he is rather going to the office he himself has 
created, the organ of culture originating at the home but out- 
growing the home in largeness of effect and in efficiency. Or 
when, himself taken by fever or finding that his child through 
some mischance takes fever, he goes to the public health authority 
with the intimation, he goes not to an alien authority needing 
some other impulse to set it in motion; he goes rather to the 
institution he himself has created just for this contingency and, 
handing over his child for the time, he has him taken into safe 
keeping for the necessary season. Neither in education nor in 
disease can the father do for his child all that a good father wants 
always to do for his child. A child needs a nurse ; but not every 
father can provide one. The child needs a school-master; but 
with every will to teach, every father cannot succeed in teaching; 
Whether it be want of time, or want of energy, or want of 
knowledge, it matters not : the result is one and the same — the 
child loses in the race. To keep his child free from disease; to 
fit his child by education for the work of the complex society he 
is to live in, — ^these are two primary duties of the father and, 
except in the poorest, most insufficient way, he cannot of himself 
either mentally or physically perform either the one or the other. 
He is driven by every social force, by every social ambition, by 
every good impulse, to seek for a means to keep his child alive 
and to inform his child's mind. To require, without conditions, 
that every father individually shall provide hospital and school 
for his child is to throw our society back, to give up an immense 
privilege without providing any compensation. Any social theory 
cannot, if it insists on such impossibilities as these, be regarded 
as of any consequence. It does not do to assume that any single 
factor in the situation is fixed. The father must go forward or he 
must go backward; the child must grow or he must starve; disease 
goes on to a bad issue or to a good issue as it is ill-treated or 
well-treated ; the mind goes on to efficiency or inefficiency as it is 
well-educated or ill-educated. These are not speculations; these 
are facts. And I choose the hospital and the school as two typical 
parental necessities, which the parent practically never can himself 
provide adequately, and, even when he is a well-paid artizan, he 
cannot provide them at all. Here he is driven remorselessly to 
seek the co-operation of the great organisations. The very condi- 



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128 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

tions of his life, whether in a city or in the country, make any 
other course impossible. If we are to revert to the simple life of 
the clan, the reversal cannot take place unless we blot out whole 
stretches of our civilisation and even then the same problems will 
assert themselves for solution onoe more. Every age has its own 
special impossibilities. In our age, two impossibilities for the 
individual parent are the efficient hospital and the efficient school. 
Even the areas of individual towns and parishes are often found 
too small for efficient service of hospitals. 

But what he cannot directly and individually provide, the 
parent provides indirectly through the city. What, however, he 
must learn to realise is that, whether produced by himself directly 
or by himself indirectly, the school and the hospital are equally 
his own ; it is equally his duty to use them. By no other course 
can the physiological father and mother preserve the child from 
death or inefficiency. To survive functionally at all, the minimal 
group of three must use not merely the lesser, but also the 
greater, specialised family out-growths, which, in their aggregate, 
form the city. 

VII. The Family Sentiment and the Civic Sentiment. 

The organisation of the city does not proceed in a straight 
line nor does it strike its roots everywhere at once. As Professor 
Patrick Geddes has shown us in his vivid way, the city has a 
prolonged growth embodying tens of thousands of various 
energies. And cities are not all of one cast. Rather they are 
aggregates of survivals from many civilisations. When, however, 
under the impulse of some powerful single motive the mass of a 
city's people are drawn into a certain unity of feeling and thought, 
we see what the potential organisation of the city is. We see 
how a people of approximately one stratum will organise more 
easily and more rapidly than the multi-stratified city so much 
better known to us. But, even in the ** faults" of the multi- 
stratified city, we trace hints of organisation that leave us in no 
doubt of the city's origin or of the origin of the composite social 
group. But whether we contemplate the relatively simple city or 
the relatively complex city, we find equally that gaps are possible 
between a city organisation and the minimal family, not to speak 
of the enormous gaps between the city and the individual. By 
the illusion of projection, intensified a thousand-fold by the different 
histories of the various strata of families, the city organisation 
proceeds as if it were some great objective mechanism, not to be 



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THE FAMILY AND THE CITY 129 

controlled by any human power. It is too great a thing for the 
individual man to regard as his own or the expression of himself* 
To be "a citizen of no mean city " is so high an ethical achieve- 
ment that only the valiant patriot ever attains to it. And even 
he attains to it rather in feeling than in intellect. The revolution 
unmade a king, and made a consul ; but he in turn, drawing his 
power primarily from the people, became the great projection of 
the people's mind and dominated for a generation his own creators. 
What we see so strikingly in Napoleon, we see also, but less 
strikingly, in every city. It is the same unconscious projection 
of collective power turning to dominate our feelings and imagina- 
tions. None the less is it true that the organisation created by 
multitudes of men, out of millions of individual impulses and 
ideas, is capable of becoming the imaginative expression of every 
one man's mind, the instrument of every one man's will. One 
great problem in our civic education is to teach the individual 
how to bridge the gap between himself and the city organisation, — 
between himself, the abstract individual, and himself again, the 
organised city. 

Put in this vaguely abstract way, the educational problem looks 
fanciful. But take a case. Look to the actual father and mother 
of a child suddenly smitten with an infectious disease. In a 
moment, they think of the doctor; then they take his advice. 
The doctor notifies the case to the municipality, whose officers, in 
a few minutes, are in attendance. Observations are made ; records 
are taken ; a nurse and an ambulance appear and in half an hour 
the child, under the care of two trained women and a surgeon, 
lies carefully watched in a dainty cot. Perhaps, within the hour, 
an operation to save his life has been completed and the immediate 
urgency is over. 

Trace now the sequence of actions. The father and mother, 
vaguely educated, do not live in the categories of municipal theory ; 
but they know that they can rely on the municipal service and they 
know what step to take to set the service in motion. They are 
thus, in a moment of stress, unconsciously united in feeling to the 
great organisation that makes the salvation of their infant's life 
possible. When, however, the child passes from the home to the 
hospital, there at once emerges a feeling of antagonism between 
the parents and the municipality. They are jealous of its actions ; 
they suspect its motives; they find their child of immeasurably 
greater value than they had formerly known; they long for its 
preservation, for its restoration, for its reappearance in the home. 



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Z30 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

On the other side, the municipal officers, forgetting, for the 
moment, the existence of the parents, lose themselves in devotion 
to the child. They bring all the science and skill and tenderness 
they can to bear on its salvation. They reSsent the intrusion of the 
parents ; they take official possession of the child as if it belonged 
primarily to the city ; they guard it jealously that no foolish mother 
shall spoil the treatment by over-indulgence and no foolish father 
gratify his fatherly sentiment at the expense of the infant's 
recovery. The parents have invoked a spirit that they cannot 
control. They have committed their child to it before they know 
how or when they shall receive their own again. In faith, they 
make the sacrifice; in faith, they await the result. When at last 
the infant, restored and healthy, goes home, the municipal officers 
place him among their statistics and the parents take him to their 
bosoms. The officers turn to others in more urgent need, carrying 
to them once more healing and service. The parents, absorbed 
once more in the lesser family sentiment, forget the city and all 
the prayers they raised to it in their need. 

I have seen so often this sudden light of civic faith and this 
sudden darkness of civic infidelity, that I cannot but regard them 
as normal to the great mass of our incipient citizens. Hardly 
once in a long official experience have I found, among thousands, 
a parent that sustained, after the recovery and redelivery of his 
child, a shade of the same intensity of feeling as he showed on 
the first consciousness of danger. Now and again, out of conven- 
tional courtesy, a man has sent gifts to the hospital or to the 
nurse, associating everything with a person, nothing with the 
organisation that made the person functionally possible. Once 
or twice, 1 have seen a flow of grateful feeling that spread itself 
over an hospital staff, producing gifts for everybody and kind 
words that made duty a pleasure. But never have I seen any 
parent that frankly attributed to himself and his fellow-citizens the 
virtues that produce the city as an instrument for increasing the 
power of the family. 

It is clear, therefore, that the gap in the mind is both intellectual 
and ethical. The ordinary man stops at the immediate person; 
he acts for the immediate person; he is grateful to individual 
persons ; he turns from them to his own the moment the danger is 
over. On the other hand, the officers of a municipality tend to 
become official; more and more they imagine themselves indivi- 
duals when their functional existence rests on a universal; more 
and more they act as if they held individual power when yet every 



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THE FAMILY AND THE CITY 131 

activity is conditioned by the system they serve under. It should 
be possible to bridge the distance between these two extremes, — ^to 
carry the father's impulse into a further development ; to make the 
official realise that, through him, father and city are united in the 
child. 

But the organisation of the city on the large scale risks the 
loss of the family sentiment by reducing the family to its minimum. 
As we have shown, the family sentiment has difficulty in surviving 
where only a father and mother and child are found together. 
The capacity for inter-suggestion is too limited. There is a want 
of atmosphere. At the same time, the very want of atmosphere 
generates the impulse to seek outside assistance in its readiest 
form and this is usually the civic doctor. On the other hand, the 
family sentiment where the family is large enough to sustain 
it effectively, asserts its ancient belief in the family capacity to 
serve all needs and tends to block the way to civic action. Over 
and over again have I met with obstruction to civic activity when 
the family sentiment was strong. This is probably the meaning 
of the long-continued refusal of the well-oflF classes to enter public 
hospitals. But everywhere this feeling is giving place to the 
readier acceptance of civic assistance. And as the readiness of 
acceptance has been hastened in the industrial areas by the mech- 
anical reduction of the family capacity as the result of labour, so, 
in the wealthier orders, the family sentiment tends to evaporate 
with the increase of centrifugal tendencies in the individuals, — 
ease of transit, separate living, boarding schools and the other 
mechanisms of functional disintegration. Intellectually, it is 
commonly accepted that, in a thousand ways, the family home 
cannot compete with the civic hospital or school; but in feeling, 
this position is not always accepted quite frankly. There is a 
remnant of conviction that civic assistance is a last resort and a 
proof of family failure. Yet even this is passing away and we find 
in some cities that every class of the community, rich and poor, 
not merely admit the usefulness of their public institutions, but 
imperiously demand their use. In Glasgow, for example, it is 
now not uncommon for the Medical Officer of Health to remove 
to hospital from 90 to 100 per cent, of persons suffering from 
certain infectious diseases. This is done without compulsion. It 
is merely the municipal organisation acting in response to the wish 
of individual citizens. Infectious disease has always been a great 
educator and has taught civilisation many intimate truths. It 
continues to teach us, acting at once as a mechanically integrating 



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132 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

force, and as a revealer of civic duty. More pointedly than any 
other normally present fact it shows how essential the city is to the 
realisation and to the safety of the individual. It indicates also 
how we should bridge the abyss of feeling that lies between family 
and city. 

Many forms of civic administration are the subject of legitimate 
dispute; but the public health functions of the city everyone, at 
least in Scotland, now accepts in theory, if not in practice. Hence 
it is from public health that I have taken a typical illustration. 
Probably the rooted fear of personal danger has predisposed every 
community to accept the protection and restrictions of the public 
health administration; but what began under stress of fear has 
persisted and developed because of convenience. Fear made the 
path ; cool convenience crowds it. More than once I have known 
a village thrown into panic by a single infectious case. To-day 
Ithe same village is to a man ready to hand over a case to the 
hospital authorities. In the outlying places, terror still destroys 
the family bond and kills the impulse of neighbourliness ; but the 
public health movement is none the less one of the most striking 
examples of growth in citizenship. 

The accident that the fear of infection is a primary motive in 
winning men's minds to the movement, need not obscure the 
movement's inner nature. Were such a fear its only motive, the 
movement would die locally whenever the panic passes. And in 
the earlier days of local organisation, this was what occurred. 
In a minor degree, it still occurs. But the movement has much 
deeper roots than this apparent fear. The fear only revealed the 
inadequacy of the home to carry through the salvation of the 
child. Under stress of fear, the parent creates or discovers a new- 
mechanism and thereafter he is ready always to use it. The home 
is saved from an impossible duty and the death-rate goes down. 

The education movement has, superficially, a very different 
history ; but fundamentally education and the public health move- 
ment both arise from the inadequacy of the home. 

And so we might draw illustrations from all the great organi- 
sations that constitute a municipality. Each organisation could 
be traced back to some family need that could not be adequately 
provided for in any other way. 

VIII. Causes of the diremption of Family and City. 

The reasons why the family and the city have fallen apart 
have been vaguely indicated already. The stages may be briefly 



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THE FAMILY AND THE CITY 133 

stated as follows : — First, there is the mass-organisation necessary 
for industrial evolution ; second, there is the consequent disintegra- 
tion of the family group into minimal families of three, with all 
the necessary limitations; third, there arises the necessity for 
representative administration, since, at an early stage of aggrega- 
tion, the families become too numerous to act as a single council ; 
fourth, there is the projection of the representative organisation 
as if it were an alien power. The representative organisation and 
its officers become a force controlling the very people that elect 
them. The electors always find it impossible to maintain in 
complete activity the belief that the men elected derive their power 
from the electors and from no other source; that, in fact, the 
representative bodies are simply the electors themselves acting in 
one capacity for a given purpose, — ^the concrete projection of the 
electoral mind. But, like all mental projections, sane or insane, 
the representative projection tends to become a fearsome and 
hostile obsession, a thing to be criticised, denounced and destroyed. 
Rarely, if ever, is it recognised as the product of the electoral 
mind itself. But since the city is worked just by this projected 
representative body, the elector, in his capacity as head of a family, 
almost necessarily considers the family and the representative 
bodies as antagonists to one another. Hence the primary diffi- 
culty in civic education is to restore to the citizen the lost sense 
of identity between the family and the representative body. He 
sees both family and city in abstraction from one another and 
accordingly he sees them entirely wrong. 

IX. Parental Responsibility as affected by the City. 

The common conception of responsibility assumes that the 
child belongs to his father much as his house and furniture belong 
to him. The common conception, no doubt, is vague and we 
need not press it too much; but the common action and the 
common insistence on the duties of parents seem to presuppose 
that, if the child, all through his life, could be left entirely ta 
the parents to bring up, to educate and to place on the world, 
the result would be the best possible whatever the parent's capacity 
for this gigantic task may be. This is another way of saying 
that the whole course of city growth, the whole results of aggre- 
gation, are simply an unavoidable social disaster ; not a beneficent 
opportunity for expansive organisation. But, right or wrong, the 
city is a social fact and we must take it as it is. We are not 



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X34 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

here estimating political results or prospects; we are simply 
attempting to trace a principle among actual conditions. 

But it is surely wholly erroneous to maintain that the child 
should be the exclusive care of the parents. To begin with, this 
is hopelessly impossible. At the best, the parents are simply 
social trustees for the child. They have no final authority to do 
with him as they choose. They must honour all the obligations 
they undertake in becoming parents. Among the first of their 
obligations, they have to learn that the child belongs not exclu- 
sively to them, but, through them, to the society they live in. 
Sooner or later, every parent learns this lesson ; because the child 
grows to manhood or womanhood. Yet the lesson comes to 
every parent as a surprise and a revelation when the personality 
of the child firsts asserts itself. " Woman, wist ye not that I 
must be about my Father's business?" This is what every parent 
must face. But if he is educated, he foresees it and works towards 
it. He knows that this assertion of indej>endent personality is at 
once the sign of manhood and the proclamation that the child, 
from the beginning, is not simply the son of his individual father, 
but also the son of Man. 

But if the child is not simply and exclusively the property of 
the individual father, the father must be, from the beginning, under 
obligation to recognise this aspect of the child's life and to develop 
it. This, however, he cannot at any time do if he confines the 
child's environment to the immediate home and family of three. 
He must, from the beginning, take hold of all the instruments of 
culture, all the institutions of civilisation, all the organisations that 
tradition has specialised for the total culture of his child. His 
responsibility, therefore, is fully discharged to his child only when 
he does for it all that he individually can, first, immediately by his 
own powers in his individual home and next by his mediate powers 
in the school, the hospital, the city as a whole, to secure the 
nurture and education of his child towards full citizenship. 

Here I am not concerned with any practical consequences that 
flow from the theory. That would lead me into politics, with 
which a Sociological Society has nothing to do except after the 
fact. What I have sought here to indicate is that the actualities 
of our present practice demand something a little more subtle, a 
little more thorough-going, than the abstract parenthood and the 
abstract citizenship that have for so many years been filling us 
with weariness and confusion. 



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THE FAMILY AND THE CITY 135 

X. Illustration from Recent Edinburgh Investigation. 

If it were necessary to give a reason for discussing the family, 
it would be difficult to find one better than the recent investigation 
in Edinburgh. The analysed facts are given in the Report by the 
Edinburgh Charity Organisation Society. So far as I am aware, 
the central idea of that investigation, which was first proposed and 
sketched by Mr. Arthur Sherwell, M.P., is new in British social 
work. Usually, such an investigation starts from the home and 
radiates to the public institutions. In the present case, the inves- 
tigation started with the school and sought for the history of the 
school-child in his home. Every child of a given school was 
medically examined with the greatest minuteness possible in the 
circumstances. Equally, his home and the remainder of his 
family were investigated economically. The child, thus examined, 
was then fitted into the home system of ascertained facts, which 
were verified along all the available lines of investigation. Some 
781 families, involving approximately 1,400 children of school age, 
were thus analysed in detail. The resulting wealth of facts is 
enormous, and will provide problems for many a year to come. 
In this paper I can deal only with the large generalities suggested 
by a pretty intimate knowledge of the concrete facts recorded. But 
I may detail two or three specific impressions that this investigation 
has made on some minds in the North. 

First, there is the obvious fact that the family as we understand 
it does not carry through the work that we habitually assign to it. 
Read through the details of any of these family summaries and you 
will hardly find one where the physiological father and mother are 
equal to the load of duty placed upon them or, under legitimate 
impulse, undertaken by them. Even with perfect health, which 
is rare, with perfect character, which is rarer, and with perfect 
prudence, which is rarest, the men and women here involved almost 
all require the support of outside institutions and, when you 
consider the whole facts, you cannot say that any other course is 
possible. Let the conditions as they stand be right or let them be 
wrong ; but as they stand, they make it impossible for two people, 
a father and a mother, to do by themselves more than a fractional 
share of what is due to the child. If you doubt this, scrutinise for 
yourselves the multitudinous details. Even when we eliminate 
drink, incapacity, debauchery, and all such vices of personal 
character, we are yet faced with the difficulty as to why a great 
city produces conditions that overwhelm the two most important 
individuals, the father and mother. 



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Z36 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

Second, it seems clear that if the family did not seek the assis- 
tance of external organisations, it would sink into a lower degree 
of efficiency than even these investigations reveal. If there were 
no school, the child would not only be grossly neglected in body, 
but he would also be robbed of every chance of intellectual or 
ethical culture. If there were no dispensaries, he would not only 
suffer from the minor dirt diseases that dispensaries do not tackle, 
but he would go under in his multitudes to the stress of serious 
disease. If there were no hospitals, he would not only in sickness 
have to rely on the overcrowded and foetid room where he was born, 
but he would also have for nurse the overdriven and uneducated 
mother. And so we might take him through other relations. In 
every one of them, but for the outside organisation, he would live 
only for a little time or, if he lived longer, he would not achieve 
even the moderate success he now does. 

Third, it is not want of intelligence, or want of character, that 
can account for the failure of the family to do its work. It is not 
possible here to argue the question fully, but my impression is 
that this analysis of concrete cases merely reveals the extreme of 
which every family is an instance. It is only another example to 
us of the fact that no family of three can live by its own resources ; 
but the example is so striking because the conditions of life are so 
stringent. In seeking external support for their energies, those 
families are doing only what every other family in its degree does. 

Fourth, we cannot, therefore, simply say that, if the sense of 
parental responsibility were once restored, those conditions of 
failure would disappear. The conditions of failure are not peculiar 
to the poor ; they are true of every class. It is only that, among 
the poor, they become so obvious that none can doubt their existence 
and none ventures to deny the necessity for help. 

Fifth, it may be that, on the extreme view, it were better that 
no external agency should offer any assistance to these failing 
families; but simply to say so is to beg the question. The broad 
fact is that of all these families scarcely one is self-sufficient. Let 
it be admitted that drink is a potent cause of failure, that thrift, as 
ordinarily understood, hardly exists, that a different early history 
might mean a different later history ; but let us not suppose that, 
in offering these minor criticisms, we are altering the central fact, 
namely, that in this class of society, as in every other, the family 
cannot do for the child all that the child needs to fit it for citizen- 
ship. 



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THE FAMILY AND THE CITY 137 

XI. Restoration of the Family Sentiment by the mediation of 
the City. 

The external alienation of the civic organisation from the family 
is largely an historical accident or rather an accident of irregular 
city growth. It is not a final obstacle to the restoration of the true 
civic feeling, which supervenes on the perception of the identity of 
city and family. 

If we were to use Hegelian terms, we might say that, from the 
point of view of logic, the minimal family of three is mere Being 
or the immediate. It expresses itself, however, in the endless 
variety of appearance, or Existence, coming then under the 
categories of the ordinary life as it is lived in the city — houses, 
streets, tramways, shops, banks, stock exchanges, etc., etc. These 
all proceed as if they were themselves final embodiments of some 
idea ; but they are, after all, if left to themselves, only a passing 
show. Slowly emerges the organisation of the city as a whole, 
creating its systems of officials with ever more and more differen- 
tiating duties. Then we see that what is here revealed is only what 
the family had within itself. And we attain to the Notion of the 
city, which is also the ** truth ** of the family. Perhaps this looks 
a little fantastic to the present positive-minded generation of science; 
but it is on the whole as good a way as any other of expressing 
the essentially organic nature of city and family. What appears 
merely mechanical, the result of several methods of voting or 
transit or finance, is fundamentally after all but the external form 
that some definite mental purpose has taken. The form is only the 
index of continual synthetic growth. Every new function that the 
city developes and, on trial, sustains, is but the sign of newly 
elaborated structures. And as the individuals whose massed 
activities have generated the great city all pass away, we are con- 
tinually obsessed with the illusion that the city has come from 
some other than a personal source. 

Is there anything in the functions of the city to check this 
obsession ? I think there is. If only we had time habitually to 
reflect, we should find on every hand some reminder of the city's 
origin, some invitation to believe that its growth is one with our 
own, some stimulus to feel that the city offers a scheme for the 
highest realisation of the individual's activities. We could give 
many pointed illustrations. But perhaps those already given, the 
hospital and the school, are as striking as any. If you total up 
the functions of a great municipality like Glasgow, you will be 
amazed to find how many pages the mere enumeration will fill, 
c 



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138 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

And in a nation of cities like London, the civic unit — the family — 
would be hopelessly lost were it not that at every hand it is reas- 
serted in the functions of the city. 

More now than at any other period is it our duty to study the 
functions of the city in relation to the family. More now than at 
any other time in this country is the conception of the state as an 
external alien force passing into the conception of the state as the 
form of the expression of the general will. The abstract State — 
the mysterious well-spring, whence all power flows — is slowly 
expanding into the concrete State — the focus of innumerable centres 
whence alone it derives its energy. In other words, Central 
Government and Local Government have in recent years grown up 
as a differentiating unity, until we hear men speak indifferently of 
State-feeding when they mean feeding by the parish or the munici- 
pality, and of State-maintenance when they mean that the 
municipality provides work for the unemployed. 

In this turmoil of rapidly shifting concepts, it is natural that 
ancient landmarks should disappear; but it is the landmarks that 
disappear, not the land. The reality of the family is only becoming 
a hundred-fold more real as the functions of the family are more 
and more developed and specialised. For the moment, if the duty 
of the parent is confused, the duty preparing for him is greater and 
more exacting. Beyond the narrow horizon of his family of three, 
he sees, too, a horizon that fades for ever and for ever when he 
moves. But in the growing organisation, he is ever finding new 
revelations of what the potentialities are, new ways of increasing 
his own and their efficiency, new stimuli to active citizenship, new 
invitations to greater personal effort. All this, it is true, we find 
only now and then, in moments of social enthusiasm, at local 
elections, or when some great war excites the people ; but none the 
less it is a reality and has in it the promise of great developments. 
The hopes and the fears that, in a system of city development, the 
family will be absorbed and superseded by some monstrous growth 
that destroys personality, sterilises ambition, and leaves every 
personal duty to someone else, are ungrounded in fact and incohe- 
rent in theory. Things do not happen in that way. It is only 
that the speculators in woods are lost for the trees. If we but 
analyse what is happening before our eyes, what is happening 
within our minds, what is happening in the streets outside, we 
shall not be long before we grasp the true significance of the city, 
which is the family grown, and of the family, which is the city 
growing. To restore the ethical unity of the two is the task of 
civic education. W. Leslie Mackenzie. 



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HISTORY OF FREEDOM 139 



LORD ACTON ON THE HISTORY OF FREEDOM. 

The two volumes of essays which have been published under 
this title serve again to remind us of the great loss which historical 
science has suffered by Lord Acton's death. These essays illustrate 
again, and in relation to many new subjects, the breadth of his 
knowledge and the keen analytical power of his mind. Lord 
Acton moves with almost equal ease and with just the same kind 
of critical discrimination in the region of contemporary p>olitical 
events as in those of former times; one or two of these essays, 
such as those on the Vatican Council, the Mexican Empire, and 
the Franco-Prussian War, are indeed extremely interesting 
examples of the treatment of contemporary politics in the manner, 
and with the analytical power, of the historical scholar. It is 
hardly necessary to say that these essays exhibit once again that 
astounding wealth of detailed knowledge which is the admiration 
and the despair of the humble historical student ; there is, indeed, 
no modern historian who, on the centuries which succeed the 
mediaeval period, has such an intimate knowledge of detail ; there 
is no one whose acquaintance with the incidental literature of history 
can be put beside his. It is, however, perhaps to be regretted that 
the editors should have decided to republish all the essays contained 
in these two volumes, for, though all are learned, not all represent 
the maturity of Lord Acton's knowledge or critical judgment, and 
some of them hardly do full justice to his memory. 

In this Review we are however not concerned so much with 
the historical essays in these volumes, as with those which deal 
with the history of liberty; the editors have rightly, indeed, 
recognised that many of the essays, while not directly bearing 
upon the subject, are yet clearly related to it, serve to elucidate 
or illustrate aspects of the opinions which are set out in the first 
two essays. And indeed they do this in a very notable fashion 
— essays such as those on the American Constitution and Civil 
War, or on the Inquisition serve to bring out very clearly what 
it was that Lord Acton understood by liberty. 

It has been understood that Lord Acton had always contem- 
plated a great work which should serve as a complete guide to 
the History of freedom; it is very lamentable that he was never 
able to begin this, and that we have nothing but these few 
lectures and essays to indicate the general nature of his scheme. 



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X40 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

These lectures do, however, present us with a view of the subject 
which, incomplete as it is, serves to give us some idea of the 
broad lines upon which his theory of liberty and of the history 
of the progress of liberty were conceived, and they also indicate 
very closely his conception of the dangers which threatened the 
further progress and development of freedom. 

Certainly no historian ever set before himself a greater task, 
or one more worthy of the most strenuous labour. Here, indeed, 
we have something of the true philosophy of history, the attempt 
to get behind the mere record of change, to ask whether there 
are principles which lie behind the constant ebb and flow of 
historical conditions and relations. 

It was indeed necessary that scientific history should shake 
itself clear of the abstract speculations of some eighteenth and 
early nineteenth century philosophic historians, or historical philo- 
sophers, it was necessary that men should approach the study of 
human actions and of human institutions without assuming some 
vast system, into which it was already predetermined that all 
things must fit. To approach history with a determined and 
preconceived theory before there was any mass of strictly verified 
data upon which to work, was indeed to render all progress 
impossible. It was, therefore, necessary that the founders of 
modem scientific history, like Ranke in Germany and Stubbs in 
England, should resolutely refuse to pay any attention to the 
abstract systems, the abstract speculations, in history. And the 
incredibly rapid progress of scientific method and actual historic 
knowledge has more than justified the attitude of these founders 
of the method. To substitute a reasoned and careful consideration 
of the political, religious, and social forces out of which the new 
order of Europe has arisen for vague declamations and ignorant 
dogmatism, such was the work of Ranke; and to carry out an 
enquiry into the changes in English institutions, to show how 
these gradually grew from the simpler to the more complex forms, 
that has been the greatest achieviement of the school of Constitu- 
tional historians, of whom, in England, Stubbs has been the 
leader. 

We have now transcended the sceptical attitude in history, or, 
rather, we can leave that to the intelligent amateur. What we 
know, we know, and how little it is that we know, we also know, 
but we have found the clue to the treatment of political and 
constitutional development, and it is only the amateur or the 
ignoramus who doubts it. I could wish that I did not feel 



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HISTORY OF FREEDOM 141 

some doubt whether some of our historical scholars are not 
for the moment, it can only be for the moment, tending to fall 
back into that bog from which Ranke and Stubbs delivered us, into 
that morass of the method of mere enumeration of historical events. 
But this relapse can only be momentary, and serious historical 
scholarship has established itself permanently. 

But now that we have so far reached our goal, that we have 
discovered our method, and that we view historic facts no longer 
as merely detached points, but as organically related to each other, 
now, I should venture to say, it is time that we should begin to 
think of the larger meaning of history, to see that behind the 
organic growth of constitutions behind the forces which at any 
given moment determine the nature of political relations, there lie 
greater principles still. The history of human society, as we 
read it, is not the history of an endless struggle of competing 
forces, but rather seems to present to us a slow movement towards 
the realization of some principles in which human nature finds 
its true development and expression. 

It is very probable that for some time to come many historical 
scholars will be suspicious of this, will suspect that this is only 
the old philosophy of history, the old enemy come to life again. 
We must be prepared for this; every science has its own proper 
intellectual disease, and the disease of a merely archaeological 
temper always threatens the historical student. And indeed we 
suffered much and greatly at the hands of the philosophical 
historian. But the world has changed, there is really no need 
to be afraid, the most timid historical scholar may lift his head 
up a little from his spade work, and will return to his labour all 
the better for having for a .moment caught sight of the general 
plan of the ground on which he is working. And at least the 
technical scholar may be reassured when he sees that a man 
whose technical knowledge was superior to that of almost every 
one, is just the man who had conceived of history in the largest 
spirit and had set before himself the largest subject. 

Lord Acton means by liberty much more than a share in 
the control of government; in one passage he defines it in the 
following terms : — 

** By liberty I mean the assurance that every man shall be 
protected in doing what he believes his duty against the influence 
of authorities and majorities, custom and opinion.*' 

The definition is, of course, too limited, and indeed it would 
seem to illustrate a somewhat defective training in the stricter 



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142 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

methods of political philosophy. Lord Acton is evidently thinking 
of liberty almost entirely under the terms of freedom in moral and 
religious thought and action. His judgment would have been 
more complete and adequate had be learned to think of liberty 
in larger terms, in the terms of the full development of all the 
capacities and qualities of human nature; but while Lord Acton's 
phrase is somewhat narrow his meaning is sane and just, for his 
concern for religious and moral freedom is really a concern for 
that which seemed to him to be the highest form of self-expression. 
And- even those who may have no special interest in the theological 
side of Lord Acton's definition, will easily recognise behind these 
phrases the conviction that the supreme purpose of social organ- 
ization is to establish such a system of order as will enable a 
man to will and to live freely. 

If Lord Acton's meaning is on this side just, it is also important 
to observe that he has seized the truth that in order to attain this 
moral and spiritual freedom man needs the protection of the social 
order, that though the true freedom is that of the soul, it cannot 
be attained and preserved except through the external organization 
of society. It may, perhaps, be doubted whether Lord Acton 
had attained to a completely organic conception of the relation 
between the individual and society ; he is perhaps thinking mainly 
of the protection which society can give to the individual, and 
does not very clearly recognise the organic interrelation of the 
individual and the common life ; while he recognises the need of pro- 
tection he is perhaps hardly aware of the larger truth that in all the 
highest aspects of life as well as in the lower, man lives and acts 
through mutual support and co-operation between himself and his 
fellows. Perhaps it is the want of some clear conception of all 
this which renders his treatment of the history of freedom a little 
incoherent, so that while he treats of the progress of the recognition 
of the internal liberty of the soul alongside of the progress in 
political freedom, he does not quite succeed in reducing the 
history of the two aspects of freedom to a strict unity. But at 
least Lord Acton is wholly free from that confusion of mind 
which sets the progress of the freedom of the individual life in 
opposition to the progress of the organization of society. 

The subject which Lord Acton had set before himself is 
really nothing else than the main subject of all sociological 
enquiry, the history of the development of the customs and 
institutions under which man strives to realise his complete 
personal individuality. For the progress of man is towards the 



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HISTORY OF FREEDOM Z43 

completion of his own individuality, but this is conditioned by 
the fact that man is dependent for the possibility of progress on 
the society of his fellowman, and in order that this society may 
produce its proper results it must develop customs and institutions 
which are maintained and modified by its coercive authority. 

The history of the progress of human society is therefore the 
history of the attempt, unconscious or deliberate, to find those 
institutions which at any given moment represent the highest 
attainable freedom for the individual, the attempt to provide 
through the organization of society the adequate basis for the 
most effective action of the individual. 

Such is the subject which Lord Acton set before himself, and 
it was natural that he should deal with the subject primarily 
from the point of view of the freedom of religion. For to one who 
like Lord Acton finds in religion the highest term of a man's 
individuality and self-expression, anything which has the nature 
of restraint or coercion in the religious sphere must be specially 
abhorrent. It was, therefore, natural that, as against the somewhat 
vacillating judgment of many eminent historians, whose scientific 
method was not adequately reinforced by a firm grip upon first 
principles, he should very dogmatically maintain that religious 
persecution was the deepest crime against humanity and the 
greatest obstacle to progress. With characteristic freedom from 
merely traditional prejudice he denounces religious intolerance 
whether it was exhibited in the principles and practise of the 
mediaeval church, or the reformed churches. 

When now we examine Lord Acton's sketch of the progress of 
freedom we are compelled to recognise that his knowledge and 
comprehension are not always equally complete. His knowledge 
of the last four centuries is encyclopaedic, and his judgment, if 
we except his attitude to the French Revolution, is not open to 
serious criticism, but his summary view of ancient history and 
thought is neither adequate nor convincing, and his treatment of 
mediaeval history and thought is at best inadequate. 

Lord Acton rightly lays great stress on the importance of 
the doctrine of the law of nature in the Stoics and Cicero and 
the great jurists of the Digest; he rightly recognises that this 
doctrine is the form under which these thinkers apprehended 
the principle that the rights of human nature are not measured 
by civil laws, but have their foundation in conditions and possi- 
bilities which lie beyond the sphere of the sovereign power. But 
I venture to think that Lord Acton makes a profound mistake 



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144 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

when he thinks that this doctrine is not already the central 
point both of the Aristotelian and Platonic theory of society. 
Those who have asked themselves seriously what is meant by the 
Platonic discussions of the nature of justice, or who have under- 
stood the real significance of the Aristotelian test which is to 
distinguish the good from the bad constitution cannot fail to 
understand that not only Rousseau in the *' General Will," but 
also the Stoics in the *• Natural Law" are reproducing the great 
principles which were first set out by Plato and Aristotle. When, 
therefore, Lord Acton says :— ** We are seeking out the influences 
which brought arbitrary government under control, either by the 
diffusion of power, or by the appeal to an authority which 
transcends all government, and among these influences the greatest 
philosophers of Greece have no claim to be reckoned " — it is 
evident that he had never clearly understood what were the main 
principles of the great Greek philosophers. It is no doubt true 
that the later philosophers of the ancient world represent a great 
advance on the earlier in their conception of personality, and a 
writer like Cicero represents a great progress in the apprehension 
of the organic relation of the freedom of the soul to self-government 
in the political sphere. But that is not the same thing as to 
say that Plato and Aristotle did not understand the difference 
between an arbitrary government which acts as it pleases, and 
a government which represents the supremacy of principles which 
lie behind political power, or that Aristotle did not understand the 
practical value of the organisation of government under such 
forms as would secure the ** common control," while they also 
would tend to check the dangers of popular government. 

It is the more strange that Lord Acton should have fallen into 
this mistake about the great Greek philosophers, for in his treat- 
ment of the development of the Athenian constitution he has 
urged that it is there that we came to that supremely critical 
moment at which men began to recognise the supremacy of law 
over arbitrary power, and that it is there also that we find the 
first beginnings of the progressive development of the machinery 
of self-government. 

• If Lord Acton fails to understand the debt which the theory 
of political freedom owes to the greatest of the ancient thinkers, 
he does ample justice to the contribution of the Stoics, and to the 
great jurists who embodied much of the principles of their 
political philosophy in the Roman jurisprudence. We cannot 
indeed overestimate the importance, in the history of civilisation. 



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HISTORY OP FREEDOM 145 

of the fact that the jurists, following partly the Stoics, partly still 
older Greek definitions of the nature of law, set out so emphatically 
the principle that law is not any command of the sovereign but 
only such commands as are proper deductions from or applications 
of eternal and immutable principles to the circumstances of a 
particular time and place. These principles inherited by the 
civilians and canonists of the Middle Ages and developed by the 
political thinkers of those times did much to counteract the mis- 
chievous tendency to confuse power with authority. 

Lord Acton's treatment of the influence of Christianity on the 
progress of freedom is in the main admirable. It is no doubt 
true and it is always worth while to restate it, that the separation 
of religious from secular authority was one of the main elements 
in the development of a complete conception of human liberty. 
This was not due so much to the fact that the struggle between 
the Church and the Temporal power during the middle ages contri- 
buted to the development of the constitutional liberties of Europe, 
but rather to the claim of the Christian conscience that in the 
highest form of life, that is, in the spiritual sphere, the state 
cannot legitimately claim any authority at all. This is indeed 
the reason why to the enquirer into the history of freedom the 
most memorable documents in the early history of the Church, 
are the tractate and the epistle of Pope Gelasius, in which he laid 
down the great principle that while the church and the State are 
both Divine institutions, neither of them has any authority 
within the sphere of the other. It is no doubt true that in the 
great struggle between the Empire and the Papacy it might 
seem as though men had forgotten this, but the principle survived 
the struggle and vindicated liberty of conscience at least against 
the State. 

It is possible that Lord Acton overestimated the influence of 
the great struggle between the church and the secular power in 
furthering the progress of constitutional freedom. The forces 
which were making for this were in action before the struggle 
developed and apart altogether from this. The truth is that the 
constitutional movement of the Middle Ages represents the normal 
development of the principles and characteristics of the political 
organisation of the Teutonic societies, which we can trace clearly 
from the time when these societies began to assume a definite form. 
As early as the ninth century we can see that the constitutional 
movement was in full progress, and even that men were conscious 



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Z46 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

of this; and it is important to observe that the development of 
the movement was most rapid and complete in England where the 
opposition of church and State was least important. 

It must also be remembered that the ancient jurisprudence had 
handed down to the mediaeval world the principle that the people 
are the only ultimate source of political authority. This is the 
real explanation of the fact that Thomas Aquinas and Marsilius 
of Padua, the one representing the ecclesiastical tradition, the other 
the secular, agree in laying down the general principles of 
constitutional freedom. 

The treatment of the development of personal and political 
freedom in modern times seems to me admirably handled, until 
Lord Acton comes to the French Revolution and the political 
theory of Rousseau, but there I must think that sometimes 
he has been unable to take into account the main features of 
history and of theory, and has been unduly influenced by certain 
aspects of the history, and by a mistaken reading of the theory. 

It is probably true that the French Revolution did not shake 
off completely the superstition of an absolute sovereign power in 
the State, and that consequently the constitutional governments 
of modern Europe have not fully learned the limits of political 
authority. But to say, as Lord Acton says in his lecture, " I 
would have wished to show you that the same deliberate rejection 
of the moral code which smoothed the paths of absolute monarchy 
and of oligarchy, signalised the advent of the democratic claim 
to unlimited power " — this is really paradox passing all reasonable 
limits, and has no claim to be taken as serious historical criticism. 
And Lord Acton's failure to understand that Rousseau in the 
•* Contrat Social " laid the foundation of the very principle which 
he is himself striving to express, is almost incomprehensible. For 
Rousseau in the ** Contrat Social '* set out once again to lay down 
the greatest of all political principles, that the authority of the 
State rests upon a moral basis, and represents the necessary means 
by which men are to rise from the merely animal to the truly 
human life, and that the principle which binds men together in 
the society of the State must combine the highest freedom of the 
individual with the greatest efficiency of the whole society. 

I have seemed to lay stress mainly upon the defects of the 
essays ; and I think that it is necessary to point out their defects, 
for so great and so justly great is the reputation of Lord Acton 
as a historian and a moralist that it is to be expected and to be 



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HISTORY OF FREEDOM 147 

hoped that these essays will be widely read, and that their influence 
will be long felt. 

But when we have recognised these defects I should hope that 
the example of the essays, the breadth and dignity of their 
principles will command the attention of all historical students ; and 
that the task which Lord Acton had set before him may some 
day be resumed and carried out to its conclusion. 

A. J. Carlyle. 



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X4S THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 



PSYCHOLOGICAL FACTORS IN SOCIAL 
TRANSMISSION. 

Social transmission as implied or expressed in the familiar 
term "education," is one of the many problems confronting the 
sociolc^ical investigator, which are materially affected by the results 
of recent Psychology. These results, as appled to education, have 
served to bring about a shifting of the centre of gravity, so that it 
no longer rests exclusively upon the material of education, but is 
increasingly dependent upon the nature of the child. This 
necessitates a new statement of the problem as afifecting the general 
theory of society. Given the two kinds of transmission, the organic 
known as heredity, and the historical known as the social heritage, 
the problem is how at each stage they are related to each other. 
At the same time the new interest in this set of problems has been 
in late years of importance in determining the direction of psycho- 
logical advance. If Society consists of individuals participating 
in various kinds of association, then it becomes important to know 
what effect these associations have upon the individual, and the 
reverse. If the study of the social order is pushed back to the 
region of social origins, psychological factors become significant 
as the roots from which social life has arisen. The comparative 
psychologist is now able to mark with some degree of certainty 
the stages in the development of mind among the lower animals, 
and, while the proverbial ** missing link" is not available for 
experiment, still, by applying a sort of psychical homology, he is 
able to ascertain relatively what amount of advance was accom- 
plished in the period of anthropogenesis. Again, the method of 
ethnology, which carries social phenomena back to a set of factors 
as relatively simple as possible, prepares the investigator to see 
to what a large extent social origins are dependent upon human 
nature. 

The historical method has in our day completed a triumph that 
even surpasses that of astronomy and physics. It has been applied 
in every field of thought, from biology up, until now, our charac- 
teristic way of thinking things is in terms of how they have come 
to be. A social fact of baffling complexity, when the attempt is 
made to deal directly with it, becomes clarified when taken back 
along its evolutionary path to its simplest form, and the observer 



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SOCIAL TRANSMISSION 149 

is able to see under just what circumstances it has acquired accre- 
tions and complications. Most institutions and customs, the 
principles of law, morals and religion, even costume and manners, 
become explicable social facts when seen in historical perspective. 
Indeed, to have a history is in the opinion of some writers, like 
Vierkandt, the mark which differentiates 'culture-peoples' from 
• nature-peoples ' ; and certainly, what we mean by * culture ' is the 
possession of a body of tradition, which passes in the manner of 
a stream from faint beginnings through generation after genera- 
tion, sometimes widening, sometimes narrowing, until it reaches 
the present. In this stream, the historian and ethnologist are able 
to trace peculiarities and directions of current as if there were 
innumerable streams within the larger one. But it is possible that 
this method may be overdone. To establish a historical series is 
an important step toward understanding, but it may not unassisted 
be able to give the final word of explanation. The historian is 
liable to erect his series into a fetish and be led to neglect other 
factors that may be important. It becomes an easy habit to reduce 
all social processes into their historical determinations and believe 
that these can give a sufficient explanation. It should be remem- 
bered that the historical series is not a stream but a succession, 
and that this succession, whether operating to produce a sameness 
of result, or a variation, passes through succeeding generations of 
human beings and is in each case to some degree an output of 
human nature. This is by no means to argue that we have in 
human nature a constant, but merely that for the tradition to be 
alive at all, it must enter into this complex organisation of instincts, 
feelings, interests, and so on, which make up what we term human 
nature. To illustrate : literary criticism has in late years reached 
the extreme of the historical method; the Greek dramatists and 
philosophers are products of well-ascertained historical deter- 
minants which can be traced in the development of Greek civilisa- 
tion. In like manner, the Elizabethans are the product of a 
particular conspiracy of historical factors. But alongside this is 
the fact that we to-day, many generations removed from Greek, or 
even Elizabethan conditions, have a certain amount of pleasure in 
reading Sophocles, or Shakespeare. In the case of any classic, 
historical determinants are important as far as they go, but some 
residue, it may be a small one, exists to give these works a perennial 
interest. 

The fact that so many people of our day rest so complacently 
within the requirements of convention has perhaps led to a restricted 



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ISO THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

idea of the possibilities of human nature ;but it should be remem- 
bered that modern life is so protected that occasions calling forth 
volcanic tendencies are few and far between. And again, the 
human nature of ordinary life gives small measure of its potentiali- 
ties under other possible conditions. But every student of 
childhood and adolescence is aware that the individual has, or had, 
unnumbered possibilities which a careful process of selection has 
submerged, possibly for the whole life-time. Childhood and 
Youth may be compared with a plant-bed in the open, untouched 
by cultivation. Of this rank variety of vigorous growths a few 
are taken and transferred to the hot-house, where instead of 
unrestricted development, they undergo a continual pruning and 
training, until in the end our plant-bed has developed into a wall- 
tree. Biologists and historians alike are puzzled by the fact that 
the world's great men have come in groups ; the biologist is unable 
to find an adequate time for producing the necessary degree of 
variation, and the historian, with all his search for historical causes 
can do little more than record the fact. Perhaps the psychologist 
of childhood and adolescence may be allowed to suggest that a few 
tendencies he knows to exist in every child may have taken advan- 
tage of the alteration in the choking-process to shoot up into fully 
formed plants. All of this is merely to emphasize the fact that 
civilization has by no means exhausted the possibilities of human 
nature, which may at any time under favourable conditions 
contribute to the historical succession, or even alter its course. 

It being granted that social filiation is inclusive of both his- 
torical succession and psychological adjustment, we may, with 
some degree of profit, examine the details exhibited in the process 
of adaptation. Comparative psychologists have found it conve- 
nient to erect a scaffolding beside the mental tree, the stages of 
which mark roughly the periods in the development of the mind. 
These periods are called the instinctive, the intelligent, and the 
rational. Under the first are included all those mental functions 
that appear in a stereotyped, hereditarily determined series of 
reactions to situations met in the environment. By intelligence, 
the comparative psychologist means a certain plasticity as against 
the previously stereotyped quality of instincts, an ability to alter 
behaviour on the basis of individual experience. Practically all 
the lower animals may be included under these two terms of the 
scheme, although one is able to find in the more intelligent animals 
the first few stages of progress toward reason which Mr. Hobhouse 
covers by the term * practical judgment.' We are safe in saying 



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SOCIAL TRANSMISSION 151 

that reason, as the use of fully-formed ideas capable of organisation 
outside the chain of habits, is the distinctively human possession. 
The scheme becomes available for our present purpose when we 
remember that development into a higher stage of mind by no 
means destroys, or even restricts, the functions of the previous 
period. Intelligence is only plastic instinct and the motivation 
of reason is interest ultimately rooted in instinct. Life-values, 
when read large, appear the same throughout the animal series 
including man ; and the fundamental motive forces in human life 
are those it possesses in common with that of its animal forbears. 
The ancient expression that man has reason and no instincts is 
thus seen to be fallacious. The reason of the logics is a species of 
dessicated unreality; and to my thinking, the only part of logic 
worth the reading is that which deals with the sources of fallacy. 
Men are ruled primarily by inclination and prejudice and by 
reason in proportion as it gives support to these. With this pre- 
sentation of the genetic scheme we are prepared to see some of the 
factors necessarily concerned in social transmission. There will 
be found in every human being the series of instinct emotions 
which, in their elaboration, mark out the interests of life. There 
will be found again a great body of intelligent acquisitions, making 
up what are commonly termed ** habits." These acquisitions 
come as the result of practice and in dealing with actual things 
and situations. To what extent life consists in the exercise of 
these automatisms, the hypnotist and alienist are best aware. But 
some slight realisation of their importance may be obtained by 
recalling the statement of Professor James that without habit most 
of the day would be consumed in the simple and to most of us 
uninteresting process of making the toilette. Beyond this is what 
we call reason, for the majority little more than the ability to 
arrange the order in which automatisms will work themselves out. 
With the few, it is sufficient to control the course of life in accor- 
dance with ideas and ideals. Let us now, as best we can, translate 
this scheme into social terms. The sociology of mere historical 
succession is based upon the assumption that man is exclusively a 
rational creature who receives and transmits and lives in accordance 
with ideas of varying complexity and importance. But this ideal 
stream, while without doubt present, does not appear to possess 
the depth which has been ascribed to it. The bed of the stream 
seems to consist of a little-examined, but almost unlimited layer 
of products dependent for their existence upon functions of the 
mind below the rational and which roughly correspond to what 



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IS2 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

ethnologists call ** folk-products." There has been in late years 
too distinct a tendency to relegate folk-life to the region of social 
origins, and think of it as merely the head waters of the historical 
stream, when, as a matter of fact, to change our form of figure, it 
is a series of springs re-enforcing and giving vitality at every step 
to the historical forces. The term ** survival " is in some respects 
unfortunate, leading one to supose that its presence in the civilized 
community is equivalent to the possession of useless or vestigial 
organs. Mr. Gomme, in his most illuminating treatise on folk- 
lore, regards this body of custom and story entirely as a series of 
survivals — the percolations of a buried culture stage through the 
layers that have been spread above it. We venture to suggest that 
so far from that being the case, the existence of this folk-product 
is a necessary condition for the civilisation by which it is supposed 
to have been submerged. To take so common-place a subject as 
marriage, its history is by this time very well known, its primitive 
origins, its stages in attaining to monogamy, its sacramental sanc- 
tions, and its acceptance by the highest civilisations as an ethical 
institution. All of the little eccentricities of ceremony' are naturally 
regarded as survivals which its development has been unable com- 
pletely to slough off. But we venture to suggest that all of these 
so-called survivals have a real and living existence in the psy- 
chonomy of the participants. That the daughter is somehow the 
property of her parent is no less the unconscious conviction of the 
modern father giving her away at the altar than of the primitive 
one who insists on seeing in her place an adequate number of 
cattle. The civilised lover, no less than the primitive one, has the 
impulse to capture and carry away his bride. And the ceremonies 
attached to this achievement of possession constitute a sort of 
vaccination treatment which makes the process possible without 
the exhibition of more disturbing primitive traits. Behind all 
these methods, as efficient now as at the origin of humanity, stands 
the primal instinct which makes this aspect of life possible at all. 
To return to our genetic scheme, we are suggesting that just 
as a succession of ideas from the outside depends in the individual 
on a certain building up of the foundations, instinctive and intelli- 
gent, so this generalised to the group, shows the historical 
succession of ideas dependent upon a constant folk output in the 
form of custom and even superstition. It is doubtful if the highest 
religion could survive a generation whose childhood had not been 
fed on Santa Glaus and fairy story and even magic. This is by 
no means affirming the correspondence of individual and race 



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SOCIAL TRANSMISSION IS3 

supposed by the old culture-epoch theory, although in justice it 
must be said that the latter has in principle contributed much both 
to science and to the practical undertakings of education. It 
merely asserts the psychological fact that race and individual alike 
progress from bare instinct to reason and that it would be a 
mistake to suppose that in the individual this progress is unme- 
diated. A kind of succession has been postulated by some modern 
thinkers, as Tarde and Baldwin, which is intended to exhibit the 
machinery of transmission, finding this to consist in the principle 
of imitation. But to my thinking, these writers err on the side of 
over-emphasis, leaving no room for the true historical continuity 
of ideas. Imitation does play its part in the higher stages of 
intelligent learning and transmission that we have attempted to 
delimit. But if a custom propagates itself by imitation, a scientific 
idea involves rational receptiveness. 

It being clear that transmission cannot be fully described in 
intellectualistic terms, we are under the necessity of finding to what 
extent other factors participate. We have, so to speak, two 
parallel lines of succession ; that represented by the biological term 
"heredity," as well as the line of tradition that has been under 
consideration. How these are able to interact in the production 
of a common result is the problem before us. An illustration from 
the biological field might not be inappropriate. Mr. Hudson has 
shown that young birds are frightened by any large, strange 
object, without distinction of kind. Older birds of the same species 
are frightened by the objects which are the natural enemies of the 
species. It is not necessary to suppose that the older birds have 
had an exhaustive experience of hawks in order to have the instinct 
thus specialised, but through the mediation of warning cries and 
a frequent repetition of the experience, the reaction is brought to 
bear only upon those objects where biological utility plays a part. 
This crude illustration points us to the general principle that 
hereditary organic equipment, especially as concerns the interests 
and emotions, is vague and undifferentiated. The function of 
experience is to draw out and polarise these tendencies with refer- 
ence to the factors constituting the environment. For human 
beings this process appears long and exceedingly complicated. 
The human ability to retain not merely as habits, but in the shape 
of images, the greater part of experience affords opportunity for 
psychical organisation on a very large scale. The process has been 
carefully studied by Mr. Shand and embodied in his doctrine of 
the ' sentiments.' The leading principle is that the emotional life 

D 



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Z54 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

becomes in the course of time definitely oriented toward factors of 
experience. Each of these emotional directions, as they might be 
called, depends upon a special organisation of almost the whole 
scale of emotions. The object loved induces joy in its presence, 
sorrow in its absence, fear for its danger and anger at any inter- 
fering object. In this way, the psychical life of the individual 
grows into definite relations with the world about. Our special 
applications of this doctrine are of two kinds : (i) the feelings are 
organically and not socially transmissible. (2) Social transmis- 
sion involves in each individual a complete new series of adjustments 
in order to make reception possible. A great part of the social 
heritage consists of imaginative situations in legend, myth and the 
arts which make its component parts especially available as objects 
of emotional adjustment. Again, the fact that any social product 
commands in the community a common organisation of emotions, 
or in other words, is the object of a certain sentiment, is largely 
what gives it vitality as a social product. The love of the old, the 
love of one's country, or of the good, or of duty, or any other of 
the multiple forms of tradition, — all of these, organised in the 
minds of all the individuals concerned, make up the sum of social 
forces. But these habits of feeling cannot be called into existence 
merely by the presentation of some factor of tradition ; it is neces- 
sary for them to grow. An illustration may be found in the most 
difficult problem that adolescence has to face, that of choosing a 
career. Where the youth has a free chance unhampered by parental 
interference, or the prospect of a ready-made career, as the civil 
service, all the possibilities of life present themselves to him in 
panoramic series. He pictures himself as occupying one after 
another the different functions of life, and in each case gives birth 
to an incipient sentiment which possibly fails of growth because 
the experience is imaginative, instead of real. He fancies himself 
as a sailor, as a soldier, an explorer, a barrister, a physician, a 
clergyman, a scholar, or a man of business. And in turn he 
tentatively constructs the organisation of emotional experience 
which the imagined series of situations would call forth. When 
the choice is made, the sentiment becomes fully grown and is the 
chief organising factor in the young man*s life. This analysis 
exhibits the method by which so many sets of social factors are 
perpetuated. The great soldier is undoubtedly created by imagina- 
tively living through the military experiences of past soldiers, and 
by the formation of self-love directed to a self which is in a 
measure substituted for the personages of the past. In some such 



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SOCIAL TRANSMISSION IS5 

way careers of all kinds are propagated, and many types of action 
repeat themselves in successive generations. 

While the term 'institution* is sufficiently vague to prevent 
definite application to specific cases in such a way as to make clear 
the principle that differentiates various kinds, still, for practical 
purposes there will be found a certain consensus as to the class of 
facts that the term covers. The institution possesses par excellence 
an historical continuity ; its changes in the course of timfe are slow ; 
and it manifests a certain 'compelling power in its contact with 
successive generations. This authoritative, compelling element 
has been singled out by Professor Durkheim as the differential 
mark characterising institutions. The feeling for authority as it 
manifests its different stages in the development of the child has 
been studied with care by Miss Darrah. The first period, lasting 
to the beginning of adolescence, is one of control by authority in 
the most absolute and arbitrary sense of the term. Reasons for 
prescribing or prohibiting various actions are not required, or even 
wanted. A thing is right because of approval by superiors, or 
wrong because of disapproval; there is no other standard. But 
the mark of this authority is the personal element without which 
it possesses no cogency. The basis underlying this attitude seems 
to be that of intelligent learning, that of gradually stamping in by 
experience the remembrance of activities with their pleasurable or 
painful consequences. Incidentally, it may be said that this prin- 
ciple furnishes the ground for Mr. Spencer's whole doctrine of 
moral education. To it should be added the tendency of childhood 
to interpret all causation in personal terms. 

But the attitude towards authority changes as the child grows 
older developing into a susceptibility to new kinds of suasion. 
The period of early adolescence is that of participation in certain 
crude forms of organised activity. Control is by mates rather 
than by superiors. The sentiment of the gang, the team, or the 
school, or the boys' secret society, is most efficient with him now. 
This esprit de corps, or control by the mass of equals probably 
finds its basis in the principle of imitation. Later on, imitation 
tends to become discriminating and the personal element in some 
cases gradually drops out, initiating the age of control by ideas 
and idqals — ^the period of reason. It requires to be added that for 
the majority, sense of authority is arrested at this lower stage. 
The slight degree of rational responsiveness is supplemented by 
a certain amount of support by the crowd. The fully developed 
moral life implies the growth of sentiments whose objects are more 



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XS6 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

abstract moral qualities or judgments, as duty, justice and right. 
Let us now apply these results to the case of some institution like 
the Church. The present sensitiveness on the subject of religious 
education bears evidence that there is an unconscious recognition 
of these principles. The religious institution has created a number 
of minor aids to enable it to meet all requirements. Absolute 
personal control, the corporate feeling of the church-community 
are just as necessary as the body of doctrine. Besides this directly 
compelling power, there are other modes of meeting natural 
interests as they appear in the course of development. It will be 
noted that every great religion contains a mythology, a number of 
hero-legends, a body of doctrine, a concrete embodiment in build- 
ings and fixtures, a ritual, and a priesthood. If we should look 
for the essence of the institution, it would be found in none of these 
singly, but in all together. Each exists because of the necessity 
of meeting human nature in its various aspects. Children in early 
years have little interest in the New Testament, but the lack is more 
than met by the mythology of the Old Testament. Again, in the 
story of the life of Jesus, it will be noted that incidents are 
included which range through the whole gamut of emotions, 
making New Testament religion peculiarly adaptable to the stage 
of adolescence. Then, the example of all the saints, each of them 
an imitatio Christi, furnishes the necessary set of personal ideals. 
This is far from saying that deliberate design has ever played a 
part in selecting these important elements; but it is that species 
of folk and historical selection necessary for the efficiency of an 
institution. 

The intention of this paper has been to indicate facts sufficiently 
well-known in themselves, but certain of whose rielations to each 
other have been disregarded. It was desired to point out certain 
limitations of the historical method. We require to be reminded 
that history is a human affair and that its forces exist because they 
are derived from human nature. Historical succession might be 
thought of as having the character of a curve, used in graphic 
representation to connect points, the value of each of which depends 
only partly upon the position of previous ones. 

Our study further prepares us to consider the so-called recapi- 
tulation of racial development by the individual. There appears 
no sufficient ground for believing in the mind of the race, and it is 
a frequent source of fallacy to regard the race in this semi-personified 
way. The race consists of successive generations of individuals 
and mental development probably has the same stages throughout ; 



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SOCIAL TRANSMISSION 157 

and a further advance in the way of mental acquisition implies 
only that the forces of development are hereditary in that individual 
and have met conditions favouring their fuller manifestation, these 
conditions consisting largely of the acquisitions of previous 
generations. 

We have attempted to make clear the meaning of survival in 
folk-lore or custom, as finding its reason for continued existence 
in the satisfaction of needs actual and present. This illustrates 
the general type of transmission which must be understood not as 
the mere passing on of ideas, but as a re-creation with every new 
individual. To this process of reconstituting the body of culture, 
the whole period of individual growth is devoted. 

J. W. Slaughter. 



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Z58 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 



THE TUTELAGE OF RACES. 

There are two current views, one old, conventional and 
uncritical, but still common, the other modern and relatively 
scientific, on the moral tendency of the imferium of a dominant 
over a subject race. The first view may be represented in the 
words of the historian of the Roman wall^ : 

**The Romans were not only great conquerors but they 
were wise and politic governors. They brought all the nations 
of the then known world into unity, and spread the blessings 
of order and civilisation to the very ends of the earth. The 
people of England are in this respect the successors of the 
Romans. Through their instrumentality vast continents, of 
the existence of which Caesar never dreamt, have obtained the 
advantage of a well organised government; their rude inhabi- 
tants have been induced to encage in the pursuits of peaceful 
industry; and the blessings of Christianity have been pressed 
upon their attention." » 

There is here no hint of a suspicion that the Roman rule was 
otherwise than wholesome for the people of ancient Britain, Gaul, 
Greece or Egypt. There is no glance at the fact that Gaul, 
Britain, Spain, Egypt and North Africa were left by Rome less 
capable of self-maintenance and self-defence than she found them. 
The simple fact of orderly dominion is held to be its own complete 
vindication. 

The other and more critical view may be well indicated by a 
passage in Sir John Seeley's Expansion of England : 

** Subjection for a long time to a foreign yoke is one of 
the most potent causes of national deterioration. And the few 
facts we know about the ancient Hindus confirm what we should 
conjecture about the moral effects produced upon them by their 
misfortunes. We have in the Greek writer Arrian a description 
of the Indian character, which we read with surprise. He says, 
'they are remarkably brave, superior in war to all Asiatics; 
they are remarkable for simplicity and integrity; so reasonable 
as never to have recourse to law-suit and so honest as neither 
to require locks to their doors nor writings to bind their 
agreements. No Indian was ever known to tell an untruth.* 
This description has no doubt an air of exaggeration about it; 
but, as Elphinstone remarks, it shows that an extraordinary 
change has passed over the Hindu character since it was written. 
Exaggeration consists in exhibiting the real features larger 
than they ought to be. But this description exhibits on an 

1. Dr. J. CoUingwood Brace, Handbook of the Roman Wall, preface to second edition. 



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THE TUTELAGE OF RACES 159 

unnatural scale precisely the features that are wanting^ in the 
modern Hindu character. Modern travellers, therefore, are 
found to exaggerate the very opposite features. They accuse 
the Hindu of want of veracity, want of valour, and extreme 
litigiousness. But the change is precisely such as might 
naturally be produced by a long period of submission to the 
foreigner.** 

The conception here set forth is diametrically opposed to the 
other. By what proportion of British citizens the two views are 
respectively held it seems impossible even to guess; but it is 
certain that Seeley*s book was widely read and approved of; and 
I doubt whether the passage quoted would not now receive the 
entire assent of a majority of educated and thoughtful men 
everywhere if it were put to them. On the other hand, it seems 
quite certain that the popular and the official attitude in this 
country to the facts of British rule over India and Egypt are in 
terms of the other view. For it would be hard to discover any 
sign that any of the thousands who have read Seeley's book with 
general assent have been at all moved by it to call for any radical 
change in our methods of governing the two countries named. 
Many professed imperialists are known to approve highly of 
Seeley's general way of thinking: none of them, I think, has 
ever proposed that we should alter our policy in recognition of 
the truth of the teaching under notice. 

Without professing such general approval, I find this parti- 
cular proposition unchallengeable, and I shall here take it for 
granted. The most remarkable thing about it is that Seeley 
himself makes no attempt to relate the rest of his exposition to 
his avowal. It stands forth in his text isolated and as it were 
forgotten, a minatory finger-post which he himself no more 
regards. By his own explicit statement, ** submission to the 
foreigner" tends to demoralise a race as nothing else does; and 
— though without seeming to realise the force of that confession 
— he allows in so many words that the empire in India is to be 
ranked ^ — 

'*at best as a good specimen of a bad political system. 
We are not disposed to be proud of the succession of the 
Great Mogul. We doubt whether with all the merits of our 
administration the subjects of it are happy. We may even 
doubt whether our rule is preparing them for a happier condition, 
whether it may not be sinking them lower in misery; and we 
have our misgivings that perhaps a genuine Asiatic Govern- 
ment, and still more a national Government springing up out 

1. Pages 236-7. 



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i6o THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

of the Hindu population itself, might in the long run be more 
beneficial because more congenial, Uiough perhaps less civilised, 
than such a foreign unsympathetic government as our own." 

On the other hand, he avows ^ emphatically that 

"A population that rebels is a population that is looking 
up, that has begun to hope and to feel its strength. ... If 
this feeling ever does spring up, if India does begin to breathe 
as a single national whole — ^and our rule is perhaps doing more 
than ever was done by former Governments to make this 
possible — then no such explosion of despair, even if there were 
cause for it, would be needed. For in that case the feeling 
would soon gain the native army, and on the native army 
ultimately we depend. We could subdue the mutiny of 1857, 
formidable as it was, because it spread through only a part of 
the army, because the people did not actively sympathise with 
it, and because it was possible to find native Indian races who 
would fight on our side. But the moment a mutiny is 
threatened which shall be no mere mutiny, but the expression 
of a universal feeling of nationality, at that moment all hope 
is at an end, as all desire ought to be at an end, of preserving 
our Empire. For we are not really conquerors of India, and 
we cannot rule her as conquerors; if we undertook to do so, it 
is not necessary to inquire whether we could succeed, for we 
should assuredly be ruined financially by the mere attempt.'* 

Putting two and two together, we get so far the proposition 
that the submission to the foreigner is ruinous to Indian character ; 
and that the general emergence of self-respect would mean the 
humiliating expulsion of the British. Going further afield, we 
find qualifying suggestions suggesting grounds of good hope 
which his previous words negate; and there is no solution of the 
problem. To close the matter, we ask whether our lecturer believes 
that the ** raising" process which he posits as necessary is going 
on; and we find a virtual admission that it is not. **If India is 
really to be enlightened," admits Seeley, *** evidently it must 
be through the medium neither of Sanskrit nor of English, but 
of the vernaculars." The context has been a confession of the 
"strange oversight" of the acceptance of Macaulay's decision 
that the choice of a teaching medium lay between Sanskrit or 
Arabic on the one hand and English on the other. Then we 
have this triumph of counter-sense : — 

**But though this great oversight was made — it has since 
been remarked and, since the education dispatch of Sir Charles 
Wood in 1854, ^^ some measure repaired — the decision to 
which Macaulay's minute led remains the great landmark in 

1. Page 234. 2. Page 263. 



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THE TUTELAGE OF RACES x6z 

the history of our Empire considered as an institute of civilisa- 
tion. It marks the moment when we deliberately recognised 
that a function had devolved on us in Asia similar to that which 
Rome fulfilled in Europe, the greatest function which any 
Government can ever be called upon to discharge." 

The average practitioner of the ** bombastic" school at which 
Seeley has so many characteristic flings in his book, might at 
least retort that his bombast is normally the peroration to an 
account of something important alleged to be done, not to a 
record of how the one thing declared to be needful was not done. 
The reference to Rome is made with the same oblivion of Roman 
decadence as is exhibited by the historian of the Roman Wall. 
It is worded as if Rome had given a regenerating culture to the 
peoples over which she held sway ; as if her own civilisation had 
not steadily sunk with that of the rest of the Mediterranean 
world which she held in tutelage; as if Seeley himself had not 
summed up the decay of the whole empire as a failure of the 
crop of men. 

The ** oversight " of which Seeley speaks has not been tolerably 
repaired to this day. Vernacular education in India can hardly 
be said yet to exist as an imperial concern. I take the testimonies 
of Sir Henry Cotton and Sir F. S. P. Lely : — 

**The total expenditure on primary education from the 
funds of the State at the present time," says the former, **does 
not exceed ;^200,ooo. There is no free education : still less 
is it compulsory. Not more than one-sixth of the number of 
boys of school-going age are attending school, and there is 
only one primary school to five villages."^ 

Sir Philip Lely at some points hotly denounces Sir Henry 
Cotton's view of things; but he too tacitly confesses to the 
destitution of the Indian peoples in the matter of vernacular 
schools : — 

**The great task which lies at the doors of every provincial 
Administration is that of universal education. The people are 
getting ready for it. Government are committed to it. The 
only real difficulty is the cost. The local Boards, with their 
inelastic revenues, can go no further, and with all the other 
demands upon the provincial funds it will be a serious strain 
on them if they have to supply the balance even with occasional 
grants. "2 

The natives. Sir Philip remarks, **are eager to educate their 
boys"; and he is sure they would readily co-operate if, instead 

1. New India, ed. 1907, page 126. 
2. Suggestions for the Better Government of India, 1906, page 09. 



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x62 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

of insisting upon a handsome bungalow or nothing, the Govern- 
ment would allow the provision of cheap and simple shelters, suited 
to native ways. But whatever the Government may be "com- 
mitted to/* the facts remain as stated by Sir Henry Cotton. 
And all the while, the Government never fails to provide for 
an enormous amount of expenditure upon the military department 
— ^an expenditure increased in 1906 on the ground, according to 
Lord Minto, that a great nation like Russia is more dangerous 
when badly defeated than at any other time. In fulfilment of the 
official formula, the peoples of India are carefully protected against 
a Russian invasion, which, in terms of the Budget, is inferribly 
the greatest calamity that could happen to them. But to give 
more than a fraction of them even a smattering of vernacular 
education is more than the protecting Government can achieve. 

It is inexpedient to ask whether or not the bureaucracy in general, 
or the upper authorities in particular, desire to see the masses in 
India schooled. Taking simply the inductive method that would be 
followed in any judicial enquiry as to home administration, we are 
however forced to conclude that no such ideal guides our Indian 
administration as is supposed to govern the policy of most European 
Governments. In home politics, all parties profess to applaud the 
maxim that ** where there is no light the people perish." It is 
acclaimed as a religious truth alike by those who maintain the 
Nonconformist ideal of religious education and by those who 
insist upon the Anglican. And that section of our Labour party 
whom our Minister of Education in 1906 apostrophised, when 
quoting the maxim as a plea for religious training in the schools, 
are at least as much concerned as he to create popular light by 
way of secular schooling. But no party in this country is con- 
cerned to note that under our rule in India the measure of such 
light supplied to the vast mass of the people is what would pass 
here for darkness visible. 

No doubt the authorities are in some cases honestly satisfied 
that Hindus are better without schools than with them, and will 
reason to that effect. Such views have often been put forward 
in good faith as against demands for compulsory or free schooling 
in Europe, and they are at least as likely to be honestly held 
by Europeans in regard to Asiatics. But the general European 
practice must be held to indicate the general European conviction. 
For scientific purposes, at least, we are forced to note that our 
tutelage of subject races, as regards India, involves a minimum 
of culture for them, and this after Japan has had a compulsory 



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THE TUTELAGE OF RACES 163 

school law for a generation, with some approach to efficient 
working. 

To this destitution there is an offset in the work actually done 
upon Macaulay's lines, to wit, the building up of an English- 
speaking class among the educated section in most parts of India. 
In this way our rule has created a factor of nationalisation which 
could not conceivably have arisen otherwise in a population speak- 
ing so many different tongues. And if this factor were consciously 
fostered by our administration, it would be a thing for which 
Hindu patriots would have cause to be thankful. But as soon 
as it is seen to work vigorously, the attitude of the ruling class, 
instead of testifying to satisfaction, becomes one of apprehension 
and hostility. The creation of a national sentiment, in terms of 
Seeley's generalisation, nay, in terms of Macaulay's ideal, would 
be the greatest service that England could render to India. But 
it is perhaps unnecessary to say that the growth of national 
sentiment in India is the very last thing which the average 
official, high or low, wants to see ; and that not a gleam of official 
recognition has ever been given to the organisation which best 
expresses the aspirations of educated Hindus — ^the Indian National 
Congress. 

II. 

Still keeping to the educational test, let us consider the effects 
of our tutelage of alien races elsewhere than in India, beginning 
with the course followed towards the coloured races of South 
Africa by our colonists. In Natal, in 1897-98, there were 182 
State-aided schools for natives with a total attendance of 10,248, 
out of a native population of 787,000; the Government grants in 
aid amounting to ;^5,569, while the native hut tax yielded 
;^i 29,596. In 1904-5, the figures were: 165 State-aided schools, 
with a total attendance of 10,150; the grants in aid amounting to 
;^6,334. Thus the attendance is stationary ; the schools are fewer, 
though the grant is slightly increased ; while the native population 
has increased within the years named from 787,000 to 910,000. 
And those who have sojourned in Natal are well aware that the 
policy thus indicated stands for the balance of opinion among 
the colonists, many of whom vehemently argue that to educate 
the native is to give the white notice to quit. 

In Cape Colony in 1891, out of a native population of 753,824, 
described in the census return as of "no religion," with 316,152 
children between 5 and 14, some 34,000 were taught in Govern- 
ment schools. In 1904, out of a native population of over 



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x64 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

1,500,000, with nearly 500,000 children between 5 and 14, 73,000 
were taught in Government schools. Here the results are con- 
spicuously better than in Natal ; and the fact that in Cape Colony 
alone have the natives any parliamentary representation tells the 
whole story of the differentiation. He would be a confident 
optimist who should predict that with a rapidly increasing native 
population the superiority in Cape Colony will be steadily main- 
tained ; but if it should be, the difference will still be attributable 
not to tutelage pure and simple but to the element of self- 
government for natives in the Cape constitution. 

But the most dramatic illustration of the effect of foreign rule 
on subject races on the side of culture is supplied by Egypt. In 
1883, under the Khedive Tewfik, ;^ 103,000 was allotted to the 
Egyptian education department; but the bond-holders of Europe 
obtained a reduction of the sum by ;^35,ooo, which was appro- 
priated to meeting their claims. Here the whole weight of Europe 
was thrown in the scale against the Egyptian schooling; and the 
sum left, in proportion to the population, was of the nature of 
an alms. There is, therefore, nothing specially English in the 
policy in question. But our administration of Egypt in the period 
of our control shows us in our tutelary capacity to have wrought 
worse for Egyptian ciilture than France had done in a non-tutelary 
relation. The most startling of all contrasts in the relation of 
forward and backward races is that between the military dominion 
of France over Algeria and her purely ancillary relation to 
Egypt. The former is from every point of view one of the worst 
cases of coercion in history; the latter one of the best instances 
of beneficent moral influence. Called in as instructors, as legists, 
as engineers, as administrators. Frenchmen were from the time 
of Mehemet AH the guides and friends of Egyptian civilisation; 
and it was rather the folly of Ismail than any sinister influence of 
his European instruments that led to the enormous debt which 
ultimately put his country under European tutelage. And up 
to the time of the English control the effects on Egyptian culture 
were distinctly promising. French had become the language of 
society, and the youth of the official class learned it accurately 
by daily converse. At the same time, while elementary schooling 
was very scanty, provision was made for the higher education by 
sending annually to Europe — chiefly to France — a number of 
students in law, medicine, and other branches, who went through 
a university course. The arrangement was known as the French 
Mission. There was thus provided for Egypt an educated class. 



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THE TUTELAGE OF RACES 165 

abreast of contemporary European science, and capable of com- 
muicating that science to their countrymen in the native tongue. 
It did not mean any wide diffusion of science, but it meant the 
creation of possibilities for Arab-speaking youth. And any one 
who will consult the catalogue of the Khedivial Library at Cairo 
will find some hundreds of works in Arabic, from the time of 
Mehemet Ali onwards, consisting of translations or adaptations 
of European treatises in each and all of the sciences, as well as 
in history, logic and philosophy. In some cases the work is 
essentially original, yet scientific. Thus the work of enlighten- 
ment was actually going on in the period before direct tutelage 
began. 

Under the British control, however, all this is changed. The 
French Mission was abandoned as soon as possible; and, apart 
from any changes quite recently made, nothing has been systema- 
tically substituted for it beyond the despatch of a few Egyptian 
teachers to an English normal school. At the same time the 
former teaching of the sciences in Arabic has been abolished. 
Law is still taught in French and to some extent in Arabic — the 
latter for ecclesiastical purposes — but the physical sciences are 
with hardly any exception taught solely in English; and in the 
secondary schools botany, biology, and physiology are not taught 
at all. In the school of agriculture, all the teachers use English. 
Thus in Egypt, preeminently an agricultural country, no native 
can obtain scientific instruction even in agriculture in his own 
tongue. But the other sciences are in the same case. After three 
generations in which the physical sciences were taught in Arabic 
by natives who had been trained at European universities, the 
exclusion of all save bi-lingual Egyptians from the means of 
scientific instruction is officially justified on the pretext that there 
do not exist in Arabic the technical terms required to teach the 
modern sciences. 

It seems necessary to pause over this ingenious proposition, 
because many educated people seem to be impressed by it, and 
the present Foreign Secretary repeats it in all good faith without 
the slightest misgiving. It would be hard, however, to formulate 
a more futile sophism. Students are aware that fresh scientific 
terms are framed from year to year out of the two absolutely 
dead languages, Latin and Greek. These terms are either trans- 
literated or translated into the various living tongues. When 
transliterated they are defined, and have technical currency. In 
the case of certain languages, however, notably in German, many 



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x66 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

such terms are vernacularised, as: Sauerstoff (sour-stuff) for 
oxygen; Wassetstoff (water-stuff) for hydrogen; eiweisshaltig 
(white-of-egg-holding) for albuminous; and so on. Now, both of 
those procedures are as open to Arabic-speaking peoples as to any 
other ; and in point of fact the modern sciences have been put in 
Arabic, and taught in Arabic, for whole generations. There are 
in Egypt still a number of scientific and otherwise cultured natives 
who can so teach them. If the Anglo-Egyptian excuse for 
teaching the sciences only in English were valid, it would follow 
that the record of the assimilation and diffusion of Greek science 
and philosophy by the Saracens in the Dark Ages is a myth. 
The historic fact is that both the philosophy and the science of 
the Greeks reached Christendom substantially through the Arabic ; 
and that the beginnings of chemistry and the first modern advances 
of astronomy were made by the Arabs, using their own language, 
as many of our chemical terms plainly testify. Arabic is in point 
of fact, as any Orientalist will tell, one of the richest languages in 
existence. And not the slightest pretence has been made of 
showing that the sciences were fallaciously taught either in the 
schools or in the Arabic books before the period of the English 
control, by reason of difficulties about turning scientific terms into 
Arabic or expressing scientific ideas in that tongue. 

The official pretext is in fact beneath serious discussion. On 
one occasion when I asked the Foreign Secretary whether the 
existence of scores of modern scientific works, written in Arabic 
by Egyptian teachers and professors certified for competence by 
European universities, was not a proof that the difficulty of ter- 
minology was imaginary, he quite seriously answered that we 
could not tell unless we read the books in question. Now, when 
a previous query had been put as to why the sciences are not 
taught in Arabic to Egyptians, the answer was that the books 
did not exist. Thus the demand for rational justice is by our 
bureaucracy in Egypt dodged from pillar from post. The whole 
procedure is one of evasion — I do not mean on the part of the 
Foreign Secretary, who simply puts forward the case given him 
by the Egyptian autocracy — ^but on the part of that autocracy. 
The British control has lasted for over twenty years: and the 
French entente, which gave the Consul-General a free hand, has 
lasted for four years. If then it were desired to convey scientific 
knowledge in Arabic, new books could have been produced ten 
times over. The only remaining pretext is the implicit proposition 
that the Arabic language is incapable of evolving scientific terms ; 
and that is flat absurdity. 



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THE TUTELAGE OP RACES 167 

We are left then with the fact that under our control no 
Egyptian can obtain instruction in science in his own language. 
Here again there is an ostensibly well-meaning pretext — ^the 
pretext, namely, that by making English almost the sole vehicle 
of the higher education in Egypt we secure the instruction of 
the pupils of the secondary schools in English. Now, in the 
case of India, as we have seen, English has played and may 
play an important part as a factor of unification among races 
speaking different tongues. But in Egypt there exists no such 
difficulty; and the policy of forcing English as a medium of 
instruction must find another justification. What justification is 
there, apart from the untenable pretences we have already dis- 
cussed? Simply this, that native officials capable of speaking 
English are required for the public service. But obviously the 
proper way to teach English to students destined for the civil 
service is not to force them to limit their instruction in science 
or even in history or geography to the English medium. In no 
country in the world are foreign languages taught on that prin- 
ciple. Common-sense suggests that if in order to teach our 
children French or German, we gave them in those languages 
all the higher education they received, they would miss proper 
culture in their mother tongue, whether or not they mastered the 
others. 

And this is what has happened in Egypt. Whatever be the 
official origination of the policy of teaching the sciences in English, 
there is an abundance of private testimony from English civil- 
servants in Egypt to the effect that under the present system the 
Egyptian youth master neither English nor science; and, I may 
add, they are prevented from mastering Arabic. Here we have 
another object lesson in the problem of race tutelage. While 
the French were the helpers and chosen instructors of Egypt, 
French was mastered by numbers of the educated natives, who 
spoke it in their homes and in society, and so brought up their 
children to speak it. Meantime, however, the boys were being 
fully instructed in Arabic in their schools. What they knew of 
history, geography, mathematics, and the sciences, was learned 
in their own tongue. Those who were destined to give instruction 
in the law or medical schools, or in the training colleges, were 
sent to France : and there, on a basis of colloquially acquired 
French, they mastered the higher French, and thereby the matter 
of their studies, during a period of five years. Thereafter, 
returning home, they could and did convey in their native tongue 
the knowledge they had acquired in another. 



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i68 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

Contrast this with what happens to-day. As soon as the boy 
reaches the secondary school his instruction is almost wholly 
limited to English, a language which he does not speak at home, 
and which he acquires academically. He is most conscientiously 
trained, whether by English or native teachers, to parse and 
analyse; and he does this with surprising accuracy; yet all the 
y^hile, as I personally ascertained by visiting a number of the 
schools in Cairo and elsewhere, he is in the dark on points of 
idiom which to an English boy would present no difficulty. 
Thus he studies the unknown — ^science — ^through an imperfectly 
known medium. Meanwhile, receiving none of his higher culture 
in Arabic, he never properly develops the command of his own 
tongue. The higher vocabulary remains strange to him. What 
he hears at home, while he is a boy, is the limited and unliterary 
Arabic of the harem. For him, his native speech is never the 
vehicle of the higher forms of thought and knowledge; at best he 
knows it in the sacrosanct form of the Koran, which he can 
never handle with scholarly mastery precisely because he has been 
kept on an unscholarly plane in all other use of Arabic. Thus 
he is deliberately withheld frpm the scientific application of his 
language by those supervisors who plead as their excuse that 
his language has not been scientifically applied. The policy is 
a mere vicious circle, and the outcome, naturally, is failure, even 
from the tutelary point of view. 

Meanwhile, a native project for a modern university has been 
effectively discouraged by the British control on the score that it 
is ** premature"; and, as we have seen, the whole system of 
secondary education is calculated to paralyse the higher culture, 
and to arrest the growth of that national self-knowledge and 
self-respect which is the proper outcome of every system of 
education. Whatever the mass may learn in kuttabs — and it is 
sadly little thus far — the native youth of the class ostensibly des- 
tined to do the work of public administration are as it were 
deracinated and deracialised. 

This system, be it observed, is forced on the Egyptian people, 
not as a result of any deliberation either by trained educationists 
or by responsible legislators, but as the expression of the individual 
will of a Consul-General, to whom the home Government on 
principle has allowed a **free hand." In educational science he 
has had no training or competence whatever. His plan, then, 
is not to be taken as an average illustration of the tutelage of 
subject races by dominant races : it is indeed inconceivable that 



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THE TUTELAGE OF RACES 169 

any European legislature could enact it. But the plan, such as it 
is, is framed in the interests of a tutelary system; and it is 
approved of by a number of irresponsible Anglo-Egyptians as 
tending to facilitate the process of Anglicising the administration 
of Egypt. How so inadequate a method of English instruction 
can satisfy the English bureaucracy in general is hard to see; 
but the idea seems to be that the first requisite is a supply of 
inferior and other officials who shall know English enough to be 
possible assistants for English officials who do not know Arabic. 
For the Anglicisation of the Egyptian civil service proceeds 
apace : the number of English officials in nearly every department 
constantly increases, despite the ostensible policy of giving an 
English education to the natives; and there is no perceptible 
progress whatever towards that ideal of autonomy which has all 
along been proclaimed by the British control as its guiding 
motive. This fact brings us to the consideration of the final crux 
of the regime of tutelage — ^an anomaly more glaring in Egypt 
than in any dependency proper of the British Crown, inasmuch 
as there is in that case not only no pretence of right to empire 
but an avowed purpose of ultimately ceasing from occupation. 

III. 

The constitutional situation in Egypt is broadly as follows : — 
Two Chambers without legislative powers, indirectly elected, were 
established by Lord Dufferin in 1883. They still remain without 
legislative function, their sole form of power being the capacity 
vested in one of them to veto a new tax. As the increasing 
revenue from existing sources a£Fords the Government the means 
of increased outlay, this power counts for nothing. The country 
is ruled under a system of ministers who are nominally appointed 
by the Khedive, but really by the British Consul-General, and 
who are further practically subordinate to British ** advisers," 
who see that they carry out in every detnil the Consul-General's 
orders. Under some of the forms of independence there is 
really a more complete system of tutelage, as regards all native 
administration, than obtains in India, where a certain number of 
natives hold comparatively responsible positions. Thus all the 
evils recognised to follow in India from alien domination tend 
to arise in Egypt, where, to begin with, a past of oriental des- 
potism and Turkish intervention had created a sufficiently un- 
healthy socio-political atmosphere. It has been, accordingly, a 
maxim of Lord Cromer's that **what is needed in Egypt is 



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170 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

character" ; and here at least the sociological onlooker can cordially 
agree with him. 

But how is national and social ** character *' to be created? 
What are the political and other conditions fitted to evoke it, 
whether in the east or west? Is there any case in the whole 
history of mankind in which the quality desiderated is found to 
have been produced in a people under an alien rule? Not once 
has Lord Cromer or any one of his English eulogists hinted at 
any instance or any possibility of the kind. According to one 
of his chief administrators, Captain Machell, the ** prosperity " 
of the Egyptian fellaheen is bringing about a serious increase 
in crime. ** Where there is no light the people perish." AU 
the while it is for promoting this very prosperity that our im- 
perialists take credit and demand gratitude. Crux upon crux. 
Our service to Egypt is a disservice, by official testimony; our 
demand for character is a demand that can be met only by a 
gradual but systematic evocation of the faculty of self-rule. In 
other words, a gradual preparation for our own withdrawal. For 
twenty years Lord Cromer has been more or less explicitly in- 
dicating such a view of the situation ; and all the while has taken 
not one measurable step in the direction indicated. His successor 
is reported to have officially proclaimed the same ideal in plain 
terms. Meantime the British Government, with whom the deci- 
sion is supposed to rest, appear to give no instructions; and the 
British press, which is supposed to prelude or prepare the policies 
of British Governments, is for the most part either strictly neutral 
or acridly contemptuous of Egyptian aspirations for even the 
smallest measure of self-rule. When the question was raised last 
year in the House of Commons Sir Edward Grey replied, truly 
enough, that the art of government is something you cannot 
teach ; adding that at the same time he did not wish to discourage 
the ultimate ideal of developing the habits of self-government 
in the people. Most readers presumably will agree to the pro- 
position that ** the art of self-government is something you cannot 
teach," and would proceed to conclude that it is accordingly 
something you must be content to let people learn for themselves, 
as they learn to swim, taking precautions simply that the experi- 
ment is duly gradual, and is begun in shallow water. Nothing 
of the sort is being done. What has been done is to refuse, 
under the name of statesmanlike caution, to let the Egyptians have 
any share whatever in the government of their country, and to put 
them off with circular platitudes. It is quite clear that no move- 



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THE TUTELAGE OF RACES 171 

ment will be made by the British Government save in response to 
energetic agitation by the Egyptian people; and all the while 
any such agitation is viewed with apprehension or bitterness, 
which many imperialists are eager to translate into active repres- 
sion. The cue is given as regards Egypt by the policy latterly 
pursued in India. There, too, we have the cry for "character"; 
and the solutions of nescience and impotence have been categorically 
propounded. ** We must," says one writer, ** wearily retrace our 
steps and devote our energies to educating the Indians in character 
and common-sense. Then, and not till then, can we put them out 
into the polytechnic of self-government." We must wait ** until 
generations of really educated Indians have come and gone."^ 
That is to say, while we cannot ** teach government" we can 
teach ** character," and this by giving so-called education without 
power or possibility of self-governing action for many generations. 
Meantime we are not procuring even the elements of education 
for 90 per cent, of the people : and our reactionary officials are 
complaining that what we give in the way of higher education 
tends to produce Babus and lawyers. 

Students of Indian life know that in many provinces the 
common people were in **the polytechnic of local self-government" 
before we came, and we have taken them out of it. They had 
their system of village self-government, which was as important 
a school of political education as any gone through by our race; 
and that system we have swept aw-ay. Conceive a similar pro- 
cedure on the part of imperial Rome in ancient Germany ; conceive 
it justified by the plea that what was needed among the primitives 
was ** character," and that **we" must wait for the passage of 
many generations of educated Teutons before they could be 
allowed to try experiments in self-governing— and you would have 
a tolerable parallel to the spectacle presented by our bureaucrats, 
who point to the demoralisation they create as a decisive reason 
for continuing to create it. 

The first symptoms of that racial self-respect which it should 
be our pleasure to see arising as one of the natural factors of 
"character," are made the pretext for new repression, and we 
witness in India, in the words of Sir Henry Cotton, 

" Legislation designed to curtail the liberty of the press and 
speech; the crusade against so-called sedition; the attempt to 
abolish trial by jury ; the forcible introduction of harsh plague 

1. Quoted by Sir Henry Cotton, New India, ed. 1907, page 203. 



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172 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

regulations, subsequently withdrawn ; the blows that have been 
dealt at local self-government, especially in Calcutta; the 
systematic discouragement of popular institutions ; the deliberate 
encouragement of provincial segregation; the substitution of 
a system of nomination to c^overnment service in the place of 
competitive examination; the practical declaration of race- 
disqualification for public offices ; the hampering and fettering of 
unaided colleges and schools, and the general sinister drift in 
favour of officialising all branches of education ; and above all, 
the recent partition of Bengal, which was not only carried out 
in direct opposition to the wishes of the people, and in spite 
of their most vigorous protests, but was enforo^ with a degree 
of harshness and want of sympathy which are fortunately rare 
in the annals of Indian administration."^ 

That which at home we call "popular demand for reform," 
in India we call " sedition " ; and the average Briton to-day stands 
in that regard ^here most reactionary Tories stood in British 
politics a hundred years ago. The one thing that neither press 
nor public will attempt is to do in relation to the claims of 
subject races as it would be done by. The circle seems hopeless, 
so far as British initiative is <:oncerned. To proclaim ideals which 
we helplessly falsify by our action ; to demand gratitude which is 
not conceded; to claim to protect and elevate backward races while 
steadily lowering them in the scale of manhood — ^such appears to 
be our tutelary destiny. If we do otherwise it will apparently not 
be of our own will. 



IV. 

Putting aside practical problems, and seeking only to reach 
a sociological conclusion, we seem constrained to infer that in so 
far as any race or nation has to be under the tutelage of another, 
the slighter the tutelage the better for both. A complete control 
tends to abuse the ruled and to demoralise the ruler. The good 
that may be done by simple culture-contact, by the voluntarily 
undergone influence of the more civilised race, apart from any 
species of coercion, is incalculable. The evil that is done by a 
complete and arbitrary domination, on the other hand, is such 
as apparently to outweigh any of the benefits it conveys. By the 
admissions of Sir Philip Lely and of many another Anglo-Indian 
ex-official, ** there is as much content and prosperity, because more 
knowledge, under the go-as-you-please orders of a native state 
as under a * policy ' thrice tried in the Secretariate fire and carried 

1. Work cited, pages 6-7. 



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THE TUTELAGE OF RACES 173 

out by departmental battalions."^ The planning of the Secre- 
tariate, he admits, is very able ; but those able and well-intentioned 
gentlemen, as we might put it here, have studied everything except 
sociology. And indeed they are hardly to be blamed, for it was 
never taught to them. Macpherson^ declared that his success 
in putting down human sacrifice among the Khonds was due to 
his study of Guizot; but it is not on such studies that our youth 
are prepared for the Indian civil service. And, indeed, no mere 
study will prepare a multitude of average young men, of whom 
only a few are likely to be gifted with humane political genius, 
to manage successfully the a£Fairs of a vast congeries of alien races 
held in tutelage. Let us not finally ascribe our countrymen's 
failure to their idiosyncracy ; it is incident to their task and to 
their normality. 

But so long as hope remains, we must continue to demand, 
as the first condition of any betterment, the effort to do as we 
would be done by. It is an experienced official who, earnestly 
pleading for more sympathy in Indian administration, thus 
suggests an exercise in the psychics of reciprocity. 

** Suppose that in England foreigners were ruling, say the 
Japanese, who committed the province to one of their statesmen 
who had never been in Europe before, and surrounded him 
with a g^oup of men of his own race who got their knowledge 
of the country chiefly from books and papers from Whitehall, 
who for the most part could not talk the English language, 
whose unreserved intercourse with Englishmen was limited to 
a few Japanese^speakin^ callers in London, and who, when not 
in London, divided their time between the Scottish Highlands 
and the Riviera. What sort of Government would it be? It 
might seem admirable to the people in Tokio, but would it to 
the men of Yorkshire and Cornwall? How long would it 
last?"« 

A change of heart in an entire bureaucracy, it is true, is not 
to be proposed as a practicable policy or a likely achievement; 
but those who can see the need for it may also see the need for 
altering the bureaucrats' equation from without. 

And only such a change, be it added, seems sufficient to save 
from progressive abasement the Zulu population of Natal, where 
the relation of White to Black appears to be rapidly approximating 
to the worst of all forms — ^that of an equal degree of hate and 
fear on the part of the ruling race, with no upward outlook 

1. Work died, pMe 47. 

2. Memorial* of Service in India, 1805, pa|^ 351. 

8. Sir F. 8. P. Lely, as died, page 39. 



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174 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

whatever for the inferior. As I write these lines I have before 
me two extracts from the Natal press of 12th December. 

** Apart from Dinizulu's guilt or innocence of the criminal 
charges," says the Times of l^atal, ''political reasons necessitate 
his deportation; otherwise there will be danger of a periodical 
recrudescence of unrest. If the imperial Government refuses 
this, the onus of taking adequate measures to ensure the pro- 
tection of whites in Zululand devolves upon the imperial Govern- 
ment." 

And the Natal Mercury expounds the same ethic : — 

** Even should Dinizulu establish his innocence, we must 
still consider whether it is desirable to permit his continued 
presence in the country." 

These edifying utterances serve to remind us of the fate of 
the Redskins of North America during three centuries. For a 
primitive race there is no security whatever save in a segregation 
which shall leave them free to profit by the example of their 
neighbours without coming under their power. On this principle 
the Basutos of Cape Colony were entirely withdrawn from the 
provocative control of the Colonial Government and set apart 
under an imperial protection which means a minimum of tutelage, 
giving them thus some prospect of comparatively healthy evolu- 
tion. This is one of the few cases in which imperial tutelage of 
a backward race may relatively avail for good as against mere 
exploitation by a frontier colony. But inasmuch as the advantage 
is by way of substituting simple protection for habitual inter- 
ference, it makes good our conclusion that thus far all adminis- 
trative tutelage of one race by another is noxious to the higher 

life of both. 

John M. Robertson. 



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SOCIOLOGY AND ETHICS I75 



DISCUSSIONS. 



I. Sociology and Ethics.^ 

The relation of Sociology to Ethics, is perhaps the most difficult 
issue which confronts that embryonic science. It is sometimes 
urged that Sociology, like anV other Science, is concerned only 
with facts and their relations; and that it has nothing to do with 
values except as psychological data. And this no doubt is the 
simplest point of view. If it were consistently adopted, it would do 
for Sociology what Bentham and his followers did for Jurisprud- 
ence, and what the later Economists have tried to do for their 
science. It would eliminate a disconcerting subjective factor, 
though at the cost of eliminating also a great part of the interest 
and importance of the study. From this standpoint Sociology 
might be able to discover the laws of the development of social 
ideals; in any case it would be its business to give a historical 
account of their sequence; and this, in fact, mainly, is what 
Sociologists now profess to attempt. On the other hand, the great 
founders of the science, Turgot, Condorcet, Saint-Simon, Comte, 
Spencer, had it clearly as their main inspiration to define the goal 
towards which society ought to move. And this other purpose is 
constantly peeping out even in treatises which formally disavow it. 
That the Later is also the Better is a preconception so inveterate in 
modern thought that it is not commonly recognised as such; 
and authors who imagine themselves to be severely descriptive in 
their method would be amazed if they could realise how completely 
their chain of reasoning would fall to pieces if this secret thread 
of connection were cut. To abstract from valuations in dealing 
with human society is more difficult than is commonly realised. 
Perhaps, however. Sociology ought to do so ; at any rate, if it did, 
it would be an easier though a less attractive and exciting pursuit. 

If, on the other hand, Sociology purposes to be a normative, 
as well as a descriptive science, it becomes implicated at once in 
all the difficulties which attach to the study of Ethics, For the 
short cuts which it has sometimes attempted are mere misdirections. 
There comes up, for instance, again and again the assumption, 
explicit or implicit, that that conduct must be good which enables 
a society to survive. This is to beg the wholq question. A 
pessimist holds, on the contrary, that only that conduct is good 
which tends to destroy the society. He may be wrong, but he 
cannot be proved to be wrong; and a Sociology which simply 
sets him aside is no longer a science, it is a creed. This point 
need not be laboured, partly because it is obvious, partly because 
pessimism does not practically interest most western men. But, 
even if we. neglect the pessimist, what may be called ** survival- 
ethics " does not really take us far. Mr. Leslie Stephen, for 

1. "The Soienoe of Ethics." by Leslie Stephen. 2nd Edition. Smith Elder and Co. 



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176 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

example, attempts to show that the qualities which we in the 
West call virtues are identical with those which make for survival. 
But are they? That they are not incompatible with survival 
is sufficiently obvious, since, for good or evil, those who do 
possess them have survived. But the Indians, and in particular 
the Bengalees, have survived too, and show no intention 
of disappearing. Have they our virtues? Are they, for 
instance, what we call courageous, or energetic, or efficient, or 
truthful ? Most Englishmen who know them emphatically deny it. 
On the other hand, the Bengalees have, no doubt, quite other 
virtues which we do not possess. Yet both we and they are here, 
and show every intention of continuing to be here. Wliat reason 
have we then, on the hypothesis of survival-ethics, to think we 
have proved our code to be the true one ? 

At this point the ground will probably be changed. We shall 
be told that our virtues have made us the conquering race, and 
theirs have made them our subjects. Excellent ! But then, the 
ground is changed. The survival-criterion is abandoned, and we 
are now asserting that the good conduct is that which enables one 
to be a conqueror, not a subject. The vanquished survive as much 
as the victors, the slaves as much as, or perhaps more than the 
masters. But what we are meaning now by Virtue is the quality 
that makes for power. This, however, is a dogma. No doubt, 
when we have once assumed it, we can proceed to illustrate from 
history what kind of moral code is the code of power. But our 
dogma underlies the whole investigation, whether we are aware of 
it or not ; and we are no longer simply pursuing a science, we are 
also developing the implications of a creed. 

But another method may be suc^gested ; that which, if I under- 
stand him rightly, is adopted by Mr. Hobhouse in his recent work 
** Morals in Evolution." We may pursue two parallel lines of 
enquiry. On the one hand we may trace the growth of customs, 
institutions, manners and morals; on the other hand, that of 
ethical theory. We might be able then to find that the two lines 
coincide. But what are we to conclude ? Mr. Hobhouse, I think, 
would reply that we have now an objective ethical basis ; that the 
direction in which both fact and thought have spontaneously 
moved may be inferred to be the right one. And in this argument 
I should admit there is a kind of psychological compulsion. If 
everjrbody is moving in a given direction, and everybody is main- 
taining it to be the right one, it is only natural to fall in with the 
crowd, especially if one is already on that side, as most people are. 
But Mr. Hobhouse would probably admit a logical lacuna. What 
about the man who says ** you're all wrong," and acts accordingly ? 
Have you any kind of argument, other than the hangman's noose, 
to apply to him ? You will of course call him a decadent, a 
lunatic, or a criminal, and I do not dispute your right to do so. 
But, once more, it is then the dogmatist, not the sociologist who 
speaks. Nietzsche is a classical case in point. We may or may 
not agree with him; for my own part I disagree profoundly, at 
any rate with his social philosophy. But it would never occur to 
me that I could refute him, or that Mr. Hobhouse, or any sociolo- 
gist, could refute him. Here is a man who looks back calmly on 
the history of the world and instead of calling it, as our fashion is. 



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SOCIOLOGY AND ETHICS 177 

a process of improvement, denounces it as a process of decadence. 
Everything that to Mr. Leslie Stephen or to Mr. Hobhouse is a 
sign of advance, is to him a sign of retrogression. The weakening 
of social barriers, the fusion of classes, the equalisation of the 
sexes, the restriction of the area, duration, and brutality of war, all 
in short, that is involved in what we call ** Democracy, is, to him, 
pure unadulterated Evil. All the ** virtues " it presupposes and 
fosters he regards as vices. Life, he maintains, is going downhill 
as hard as it can, and has been going downhill for an indefinite 
period. It will never be on the up-grade until there arises a set 
of men who will seize upon power, reduce all other men 
to be their slaves, and govern the world in their own 
interest. When these propositions are laid before a modern man, 
whether he be an ethical philosopher, a Sociologist, or the man 
in the street, he dismisses them with an irritation or contempt 
proportional to his interest in the subject. And no one can 
complain of that. My p>oint is that against such a man as 
Nietzsche — a man of genius, as all honourable opponents must 
admit — the armoury of any possible Sociologist is powerless. The 
course of history, the consensus of mankind, for all that he does 
not care a rush. ** This is how I see it," he says, ** this is my 
Good. It is nothing to me that you have numbers on your side ; 
numbers are always on the wrong side. It is nothing to me that 
you plead your doctrine of survival. If it were true it would be 
irrelevant; but it is not true. Societies based on slavery have 
survived far longer than those which you call free, and may quite 
well come up and survive again. A fig for your arguments ! We 
are here to fight I Kill me, if you can! " Now in Ethics I believe 
that to be the last word. We may buttress up our beliefs with 
every kind of extraneous aid ; we may show that history is with us, 
that common-sense is with us ; and these, no doubt, are comforting 
reflections. But at bottom what we are resting upon is our own 
conviction, the dogma of our personality. The dogma is worth 
as much as that is worth. And the ultimate service done by 
a man like Nietzsche is to make us realise this truth. But, if 
that be so, there can never be a science of Ethics, in the sense of a 
basing of this ultimate judgment upon something else. It itself 
is always there, supporting the other arguments. And my con- 
clusion is that if Sociology is going to include Ethics it will be 
something that is not and cannot be a science, if science be a state- 
ment of the laws of what happens, or if it have any logical cogency 
to compel assent. In all this there is, of course, nothing new. I 
am not sure that it is not a series of tedious platitudes. But 
Sociologists, so far as I know their works, seem often to confuse 
two radically different attitudes, that of the man of science and that 
of the ethical dogmatist. I think it desirable that this confusion 
should stop. And that must be my excuse for publishing this 
review. 

G. Lowes Dickinson. 



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178 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 



II. The Child Criminal. 

The Children's Bill, introduced by Mr. Herbert Samuel, M.P., 
the Under Secretary of State for the Home Department, opens a 
new chapter in an important branch of the history of English 
jurisprudence. **The law," as Mr. Herbert Samuel has said, **rela- 
ting to the punishment and restraint of child offenders is spread 
over a number of statutes and is in a state of some confusion. In 
certain points it is out of harmony with the more rational and more 
humane ideas, which have become general in recent times, on the 
degree of criminality which properly attaches to a wrongful act 
done by a child, and on the right way of dealing with it." 

How has the child come to be considered a criminal ? Under 
the Roman law it was responsible only to its father or guardian. 
When did it become responsible to the State and when did the 
State assume responsibility for the child? 

Under a system found among primitive peoples, possession of 
the Child is the function of the mother's group known to 
anthropologists as mother-right. This is changed by transition 
to father-right. The Couvade or ** hatching '* process is among 
primitive tribes the pretence of the father to have given birth 
himself to his new-born child and is an explanation of the father's 
personal right to the possession of his children. 

The Hindu Code of Manu compared the mother to the field 
bringing forth the plant according to whatever seed is sown in 
it. The plea of Orestes was that he was not of kin to his mother, 
Klytemnestra, and the Gods decided that she who bears the 
child is but as a nurse to it. Swedenborg declared that the soul 
which is spiritual and is the real man, is from the father while the 
body which is natural, as it were the clothing of the soul, is from 
the mother. The assimilation of the wife as a chattel or property 
of the husband gave the father even still closer guardianship over 
his child. 

The Patriarchal possession and complete jurisdiction over the 
child was the same as the more primitive," the intention of Abraham 
to sacrifice Isaac is an instance. The Romans also recognised 
this right, until offering a child in sacrifice was made a capital 
offence by Valentinian, Valens and Gratian. But the killing was 
in certain cases justified; the power of life and death belonged to 
the paterfamilias and was especially mentioned in the XII. Tables. 
For minor offences imprisonment and flogging to any degree of 
severity were permitted. Seneca called the paterfamilias judex 
domesticus or magistratus domesticus. The right to kill his 
offspring undoubtedly belonged to the Roman father. Previous 
to the reign of Constantine fathers had been rebuked for cruelty, 
but not until his reign was infanticide declared murder. In the 
time of Trajan, Hadrian and Alexander, fathers were liable for 
excessive punishment of their children and provisions were mad«i 
against the sale of children. Instead of despots and owners, 
fathers became the natural protectors and guardians of their chil- 
dren, under the Roman law, but it never went so far as to give 
independence to the child. 

Full age in Roman law was 25, and minors were subdivided 



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THE CHILD CRIMINAL 179 

into adults, who had attained to puberty, and pupils, males under 
14 and females under 12, all children under 7 being called infants. 
As a general rule, legitimate children were alieni juris under the 
power of their father ; illegitimate children were sui juris, the law 
admitting no relationship to the father and recognising only the 
mother, which is the English law of to-day. 

The patria potestas and the **family'* in the Indo-Germanic races 
were on a broader basis, and the maternal side was an important 
portion of the family. Emancipation of the child was achieved 
merely by coming of age, not through the formalities required by 
the Roman law. The duty of the German father was to represent 
his child before the Courts, prosecute for injuries done to the child 
and amend injuries done by it* The ** family'* in the early 
Societies of the Indo-Germanic race down to, and into, Saxon 
England was the most important institution of ** Private Law," 
originating, as some think, both **the State" and **the Law," 
and standing at the bottom of the whole police and criminal 
system. A type of the ** family," or ** clan," in a somewhat wider 
sense may be seen in the Commune of France, the German petty 
principalities, the Indian Village Communities, and also the local 
Courts of the shire and hundred in Saxon England, which were 
found by the Norman Conquerors but strengthened by them under 
the jurisdiction of the King's Court as in England to-day. Here 
we find the Tribunals somewhat varied and yet very similar, before 
which so vast a multitude of criminals, minors as well as adults, 
of both sexes, have been arraigned in the full blaze of mediaeval 
** justice" from early days to the present. Many causes and 
complicated circumstances must be reviewed in order to reach any 
very clear or definite idea as to how the State assumed its more 
parental guardianship over minors. 

In France there remains a most valued part of the legal system 
of the State, jealously protected since early times — the Conseil de 
Famille, arising out of an elaborate code of domestic legislation, 
the development of mediaeval or even earlier customs. The oldest 
documents relating to it are of the 15th century. The presiding 
Judge heard the testimony of syndics, (rural or municipal func- 
tionaries replaced in 1789 by State-paid fuges de Paia:)^ as well as 
that of the children's relatives. The origin of this Patriarchal 
system is traceable to Roman law and to the Gallic ** family." It 
can be described as that of a guardian of guardians, an assemblage 
of next of kin, called together and presided over by the Juge de 
Pai,T, on behalf of minors, orphans, those mentally incapacitated, 
or incorrigible, French law constitutes the Juge de Paix the 
natural protector of the minors; the sittings are considered private 
and no publicity is given. Here we have what might represent 
the now much advocated ** Children's Court," except that the 
Conseil de Famille holds aloof from criminal cases, concerning 
itself only with the civil affairs of minors. 

In England no vestige. of any similar tribunal appears; the 
jurisdiction of the English Court alone seems to have been sought 
at all times in family disputes, and in the cases of minors. The 
subject must here be considered from two points of view : (i) The 
law as it has effected the guardianship of minors with property, 
and (2) The law as it has effected pauper minors. The former 



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i8o THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

came, in course of time, under the guardianship of the State, 
through the Court of Chancery, the latter under the guardianship 
of the State, through the Poor Law, administered at first through 
the magistrates, and at all times in close relationship with the 
Criminal Law and the Criminal Courts. The State, therefore, 
began to assert its guardianship over vast numbers of the children 
and youth of the country through the Criminal Law, the Poor 
Laws, and later by the Education Acts. That this right of the 
State which it has so largely assumed, was ever legal or justified 
at Common Law, might be successfully disputed even now. A 
father is by law entitled to the guardianship of his legitimate 
children and a Court of Common Law has no jurisdiction to 
deprive him of that right. This seems always to have been the 
law. The Court of Chancery, however, representing the King, 
as parens pairice^ has been held to have the right to control the 
father's right to the possession of his child. This final decision 
in the earlier part of the 19th century, after many conflicting 
decisions, received much public attention and disapproval. The 
City of London claims some immemorial right to the care of 
orphans of freemen; and as late as 1873 and 1891 special acts; 
the Judicature Act, the Infants Custody Act, and the Custody of 
Children Act, give the State the right of Habeas Corpus over 
infants and young persons, which seems to show that there was 
some uncertainty regarding the question. 

The process by which the State assumed guardianship over 
its pauper children, which is by far its larger responsibility, is 
much more complicated, and has been reached through many 
changes and incidents in the history of the English people. 
For these changes and for this greater interference of the State, 
in assuming the paternal care of its youth, we must look to many 
causes, economic and industrial, to the abolition of the Religious 
and Craft Guilds, to the enactment of the first and subsequent 
Statutes of Labourers, which sent to prison large numbers, bond 
and free, who were not serving some person at wages fixed by 
the law. The later ones provided against idleness and begging, 
and refer to mendicancy as though it was a recognised profession, 
which it had apparently become after the flow of monastic charity 
had ceased, and included villeins, pilgrims and even poor scholars 
of the universities. By an early Vagrancy Act (1547) the children 
of beggars could be taken from them and put to some calling. 

The apprentice system, an excellent substitute for parental 
care, gradually disappeared, esf)ecially that of apprentices living 
under the roof and care of their master. Various causes brought 
about an immense amount of hitherto unknown lawlessness, crime 
and misery, which the State felt bound to suppress rather than 
alleviate. A great deal that could have been dealt with under 
a better Poor Law or an Education System, was left almost 
entirely to be dealt with by the magistrates under the Criminal 
Law. This undoubtedly gave rise to the ** Criminal Child," 
for there was little disposition to regulate habits and vices except 
through the Criminal Law.- Crime and immorality increased, 
and the multiplication of the criminal population was the constant 
complaint during the two last centuries. This increase in London, 
Henry Fielding (the novelist) and his brother Sir John, the two 



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THE CHILD CRIMINAL i8z 

first Bow Street magistrates, strove to suppress by a better police 
system. The Criminal Justices Act (1855) gave the magistrates 
power to try cases more expeditiously; excessive and frequent 
punishments and floggings were largely resorted to, and a constant 
endeavour was made to inspire "awe** in the administration of 
justice. ** Do you know I am a Judge?" asked a Scotch magis- 
trate; ''What's that?" replied the shrill voice of a small child 
oflFender. Juvenile crime increased by leaps and bounds. In 
1852 in Newcastle, juvenile crime increased four times as fast 
as the population, and in England it doubled in thirteen years 
and increased faster than the adult criminal population. Private 
effort, voluntary and religious philanthropy struggled valiantly 
with this so-called "Child Criminality"; the Government did 
little or nothing to help except through the administration of 
the Criminal Law. Education received little or no encouragement 
by legislation. Secular national education belongs to the 19th 
century, although five hundred years before, Richard IL had 
rejected a proposition that villeins should be forbidden to send 
their children to learn ** Clergie " or scholarship (Stubbs' 
Constitutional History). That education would unfit the poor for 
the life allotted them was the prevailing doctrine, until Scotland, 
Ireland and New England had its Government education, and 
Wales for a time its "circulating schools." With the advent 
in England of general education, crime of all kinds perceptibly 
diminished. Previous, however, to the Elementary Education 
and other Acts, attempts were made to establish a more paternal 
guardianship over the young. Jonas Hanway by his writings 
and efforts established a system of separate nurseries for workhouse 
children and obliged every London parish to keep a register of 
its "parish infants." Churchwardens and overseers could hire 
out piauper children under the Parishes Apprentices Acts. An 
Act save mothers the custody of their children until seven years 
old, but only in 1886 was the guardianship of her lawful children 
given to the mother on the death of her husband, and she could 
for the first time appoint guardians herself* Conferences were held 
on the subject of juvenile delinquents ; Preventive and Reformatory 
Schools were established. "Educational Imprisonment" it was 
called. In the great cities reforming influences were created by^ 
Shaftesbury in England, and Chalmers in Scotland. The Re- 
formatory Schools Act and the Industrial Schools Act came in 
1866, the Elementary Education Acts, Factory Acts and other 
Acts followed in quick succession. 

Alongside all these efforts, the still ponderous waggon, loaded 
with the old Criminal Law has rolled on. The wording of statutes 
has been of more consequence than the want of physical stature ; 
individual propensity has been more considered than contaminating 
influences, punishment more than reform. 

Children under seven years cannot incur the ^uilt of felony; 
those under fourteen are presumed to have no guilty knowledge, 
unless the contrary is proved; those over fourteen take the full 
responsibility of all criminal acts. Sir James Fitz-James Stephen 
would have had the legal age of complete responsibility raised. 
(Stephen's "History of the Criminal Law.") In 1716 a mother 



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182 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

and her daughter, aged nine, were condemned to death. In 1816 
a boy of ten years was sentenced to death. 

The 20th century opens with attention awake to the whole 
subject. In 1901 the Youthful OflFenders Act was passed giving 
magistrates power to avoid sending children or young persons to 
prison. In 1905 a circular was issued by the State Children's 
Association recommending Special Courts for the hearing of all 
cases against juvenile oflFenders. Mr. J. Courtenay Lord opened 
the Birmingham ** Children's Court," with a system of probation 
officers and non-recording of convictions. The Home Office 
issued a circular to magistrates, embodying similar suggestions, 
and in some large cities similar courts have been established. 
Recently a remarkable document has been issued by the House 
of Commons through Mr. F. C. Wedgwood, M.P., showing the 
disposal of children and young persons under sixteen charged 
with oflFences, in regard to whom the opinion of the magistrates 
was asked (i) as to the value of a probation system, (2) as to 
what steps are taken to keep children and young persons from 
adults, the answers to which questions show some striking 
differences of opinion. The Probation of Offenders Act (1908) 
came into operation on January ist of this year. 

An attempt has been made in this paper, obviously incomplete, 
to show how the ** Child Criminal" came to be a factor in 
English Jurisprudence. Future legislation and thought will 
doubtless decide that no child or young offender can be considered 
a criminal at law when under the age of sixteen ; some Continental 
nations have already so decided. Many will advocate eighteen 
as the age limit, some twenty-one ; all will recognise the importance 
of the subject. While ** crime is what the Law decides to be 
crime," the future will not rest contented with what the law^yers 
in the long past declared crime to be. Scientists recognise a 
process of development in each individual similar to that of the 
whole of human society, the same upward progression, from the 
primitive type to the highest mental, moral and physical being. 
In the process of the individual life is to be found ** the young 
human being, having a strong tendency to the lawless instincts 
of its savage ancestors." Should the laws for its higher 
development be still those adopted in the earlier development of 
human society, or are these as Mr. Herbert Samuel has said, ** out 
of harmony with the more rational and more humane ideas, 
which have become general in recent years?" It is for the 
present century and Parliament to decide. 

Thomas Rawling Bridgwater. 



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HISTORY OF RELIGIONS 183 



THE CONGRESS OF THE HISTORY OF RELIGIONS. 

It is now more than a generation since the late Prof. Max 
Muller lectured in 1870 at the Royal Institution on ** The Science 
of Religion." In the following year the foundation of the English 
school of Anthropology was laid by Dr. Tylor in the publication 
of ** Primitive Culture." Every student knows how vast and 
varied have been the labours of a long line of distinguished 
scholars during the subsequent decades. Wide is the panorama 
of beliefs, rites, customs, institutions, which the continuous 
investigation of the past, checked by careful comparison with the 
living present, has revealed. Whole civilisations have been 
recovered by the simple use of the spade; and the dim libraries 
of the East have yielded up the earliest records of religions which 
have won the faith and swayed the life of hundreds of millions. 
In the enormous mass of new material which poured in upon 
European investigators, the first task was to secure the actual 
record of the facts. Cuneiform tablets, Egyptian papyri, the 
inscriptions of Greece and Rome, the sacred texts of the religions 
and philosophies of India, China and Japan, must be collected 
and published. Much, indeed, had been already done, but much 
more yet remained to do. In the meantime, the attempt to found 
a Science of Religion fell into the background, and the Historical 
Method rose into prominence. At the same time attention was 
called to fresh elements in religion which had hitherto received 
but scanty notice. The spectacle which had first awakened 
comparative interest was the mythology of the Rig Veda; stress 
fell upon the forms of belief, the parallels of the imaginative 
interpretation of nature, and identities of name binding remote 
peoples into one great family. But the significance of religion 
lies less in its intellectual forms than in its social and moral 
influences : and new aspects came into view as the rules of sacred 
action were investigated, and the meaning of ritual and the 
control of custom were examined. The immense part played by 
religion in social evolution became more and more clear ; travellers, 
administrators, missionaries, studied its living force among obscure 
tribes, or in communities of immemorial antiquity, and agreed in 
assigning to it a leading place among the chief factors of human 
development. 

The need for organising this wide and far-reaching study was 



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z84 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

first felt in France, When the Republic was gathering its forces 
together after the great debacle, M. Jules Ferry and M. Jules 
Simon resolved to found a chair for the History of Religions in 
the College de France. They appointed the distinguished French 
scholar, M. Albert R^ville, whose brilliant series of lectures 
brought the labours of specialists within reach of the general 
public, and aroused wide-spread interest in the subject. By his 
side was his no less distinguished son, M. Jean R^ville (who 
now so worthily occupies his father's chair), the editor of the 
first journal devoted to the new study, the Revue de I'Histoire des 
Religions; and M. Guimet, the generous founder of the splendid 
Musee Guimet, and originator of the long series of Annales which 
bear its name. On occasion of the great exhibition with which 
France closed the nineteenth century, a number of Congresses 
assembled on the north bank of the Seine. At the initiative of 
these savants the Congress Hall was reserved during the first 
week of September for the meeting of the first Congress of the 
History of Religions. 

It was a memorable gathering, less notable, perhaps, for the 
actual papers that were read, than for the conceptions that animated 
it, and the striking personalities who took part in it. Some of 
these have already passed away. Albert R^ville, who filled the 
president's chair with so much dignity and grace, Auguste 
Sabatier, the philosophic theologian, L^on Marillier, the skilled 
interpreter of the lower culture, were among the chief promoters, 
and impressed on the Congress the breadth and sympathy of their 
own genius. The second meeting was held at Basle four years 
later, under the presidency of Prof, von Orelli, the author of 
a well-known Religionsgeschichte. Representatives were sent by 
several foreign governments, and a number of European and 
American Universities, while the total membership exceeded 300. 
At the close of the sessions the International Committee charged 
with the duty of arranging for the next place of meeting suggested 
that the Congress should be held at Oxford in 1908. 

For this purpose a Committee of members of the University 
was early formed, the late President of Trinity, the lamented Prof* 
Pelham, taking a leading part. The Council of the University 
having, on the suggestion of the Vice-Chancellor, kindly reserved 
suitable rooms in the Examination Schools, the Local Committee, 
under the Chairmanship of Prof. Percy Gardner, have announced 
that the Congress will be held at Oxford from September 15th to 
1 8th next. On the evening of the 14th, Prof. Gardner and Dr* 



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HISTORY OF RELIGIONS X85 

A. J. Evans will receive the members and their friends in the 
spacious galleries of the Ashmolean Museum. The representatives 
of British and Foreign Universities and Academies will be 
welcomed at the opening proceedings on the morning of the 15th, 
when the Hon. President, Prof. E. B. Tylor, will introduce the 
President of the Congress, the Rt. Hon. Sir A. C. Lyall, K.C.B. 
Following the precedents of previous Congresses, the sessions will 
be of two kinds. Addresses or lectures of wider import will be 
delivered at General Meetings, while papers of more technical 
character will be reserved for separate sections where they can be 
followed by discussion. As at Paris and Basle the Sections will 
be eight in number : i. Religions of the Lower Culture (including 
Mexico and Peru); ii. Religions of the Chinese and Japanese; iii. 
Religion of the Egyptians; iv. Religions of the Semites; v. 
Religions of India and Iran; vi. Religions of the Greeks and 
Romans; vii. Religions of the Germans, Celts, and Slavs; viii. 
The Christian Religion. This distribution is obviously mainly 
formed upon race-distinctions, and does not easily lend itself to 
special sociological treatment. But it may be hoped that the 
Committee engaged in providing for the General Addresses will 
not ignore this aspect of the subject; while Section i., which 
practically coincides with religious anthropology, will afford an 
ample field for its recognition. 

It need only be added that Members' tickets, entitling to 
admission to all Meetings and Receptions, and to a copy of the 
Transactions, may be obtained from Messrs. Barclay & Co., Old 
Bank, Oxford (by cheque or postal order, £1. each). Ladies' 
tickets, entitling the holder to all similar privileges at the Meeting, 
but not to the Transactions, may be procured in the same way 
(los. each). Offers of papers may be sent to either of the Hon. 
Secretaries, Dr. J. E. Carpenter, 109, Banbury Road, Oxford, 
or Dr. L. R. Farnell, 191, Woodstock Road, Oxford. It will 
greatly facilitate the work of the Committee if Members desiring 
to read papers will inform the Hon. Secretaries by May 31st. 
All papers should be sent in not later than August ist. In 
arranging the business of the Congress it is obvious that the 
Committee must reserve the final decision concerning the reading 
and printing of papers, under the inevitable limits of time and 
space. 

The Congress will adhere to the fundamental Rule adopted in 
Paris in 1900 : Les travaua et les discussions du Congres auront 
essentiellement un caractere historique. Les poUmiques d^ordre 
confessionel ou dogmaiique sont interdites. 

J. EsTLiN Carpenter. 



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I86 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 



REVIEWS. 



A DISCIPLE OF LE PLAY. 

" The Growth of Modern Nations : A History of the Particularist Form of 
Society." Translated from the French of Hbnri db Tourvillb, by 
M. G. Loch. London : Edward Arnold. 12s. 6d. net. 
This work of the late M. de Tourville, besides its intrinsic merits, is 
noticeable as the first of the many writings of the school of Leplay to be 
translated into English — an honour which has not yet fallen to the 
Master himself. M. de Tourville, however, is by no means a typical 
example of the school. It is the great merit of Leplay and of most of his 
followers to ground their theories on an extensive and careful collection 
of facts, and by a discriminating choice of typical instances, submitted 
to a minute but rationally conducted investigation, to unite the accuracy 
of the statistical method with the informing result of actual observation, 
to breathe the breath of life into the statistician's figures, and make his 
dry bones live. But in this method, there lurks a great danger. The 
foundation tends to become the goal. Facts are sought for themselves. 
Monograph follows monograph. The formulation of general laws is 
indefinitely postponed. And in the end, the enquirer is choked and 
smothered by the overwhelming mass of unconnected observations. The 
great truth is forgotten that Sociology like other sciences must advance 
by a series of hypotheses, each approximating more nearly to the truth, 
and every one in its turn serving to connect and coordinate the observa- 
tions on which it is based. Now M. de Tourville is equally free from the 
merits and the dangers which are found in most of the writers of his 
school. He has a keen eye to general relations, an adventurous scientific 
imagination, and no inclination to particular enquiries. Accepting the 
general principles of social structure as dependent on industrial organisa- 
tion put forward by Leplay, and carefully noting the effects of 
geographical environment, he proceeds in a single vcdume of less than 
five-hundred pages to sketch the whole history of Western Europe and 
the United States of America from the times of the Roman Empire to 
the present day, in what he considers the fundamental aspects of our 
civilisation. One characteristic of his method must be particularly noted. 
He quotes few authorities in support of his contentions. As he himself 
puts it : " The proof of my statements about ^e great social phenomenon 
which I am going to trace throughout its development will lie in the well 
known character of the facts, in their strict scientific sequence, and in 
the reader's own experiences, which will come to confirm them on all 
points." Such references as he gives, relate chiefly to apparent exceptions 
and social anomalies, or to cases in which he considers that the prejudices 
of previous writers have falsified the record. He thus follows the sound 
rule that the generalisations ol Sociology should be drawn from the whole 
range of undoubted history, particular investigations being undertaken 
to confirm, invalidate or limit the theories formed on a wider basis. To 
this rule M. de Tourville has adhered throughout with the result that he 
has produced a book of surpassing interest which will supply matter for 
many careful investigations; but on some of the theories the book con- 



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REVIEWS x87 

tains, and especially on the great theory of all, the superiority and 
permanenoe of the particularist form of society, it is necessary still to 
maintain an attitude of reserve. 

Briefly, his account of the rise of the Particularist Family is this. 
The Celtic shepherds made their way from East to West along the valley 
of the Danube. The Germans took a more northern route, and as the 
steppe narrows to the west of Berlin and the fertile lands meet, they were 
forced or persuaded to a life of agriculture. Thence, some went north- 
ward along the eastern shore of the Danish peninsula and settled in 
Southern Sweden and the adjacent islands. So far their migration had 
been in bodies and they had retained the patriarchal family and their 
other old institutions. But '' among shepherds who have become intensive 
farmers the patriarchal system gradually weakens; a breach is made in 
the community by the capable members still more than by the others; 
instead of a swarm going forth at rare intervals, a constant emigration 
of capable individuals takes place." From Eastern Scandinavia, the 
more energetic members of a patriarchal society shaken by its own 
progress, passed to the Western slope, and exposed to the peculiar 
geographical environment of Norway, gave birth to that form of the 
family which still exists in England. 

At first, they were fishermen ; but fishing cannot supply all the wants 
of life. Passing along the sheltered channel which skirts the Norw^an 
coasts, the fisherman entered the still more sheltered waters of the fiords, 
and there gained " one of those corners of land fit for cultivation which 
are found far apart." On this, he established his isolated home, and 
reared his children apart from all other families and connected with the 
outer world only by his wherry. But from this situation two developments 
arose. The narrow estate which the cleft in the rock formed and which 
could not be extended, left no place for his sons. One might remain, 
who would in the end inherit the paternal homesstead ; the others must 
seek along the fiords for new homes for themselves. The paternal estate 
was necessarily indivisible. And as regards the daughters, th^ could 
receive no dowry. Their marriage would be no affair of the family. 
Each would marry of her own free choice and live in practical isolation 
in her husband's home. Hence we have the distinctive marks of the 
Particularist Family, the indivisible estate inherited by one son only, 
the other sons going forth to seek new fortunes outside the paternal home, 
and the normal family consisting of a single pair, united by free choice, 
and surrounded by their children only so long as those children were not 
of an age to form homes for themselves. It is the family as it still exists 
in this country. 

This bald summary of the effects of the Norwegian environment on the 
Gothic stock gives little idea of the care and ingenuity with which M. de 
Tourville traces each element — the conformation of the coasts and the 
fiords, the habits of the fish, the products of the soil — ^and shows its effect 
in changing the original civilisation which the settlers brought with them 
from the eastern slope of the Scandinavian peninsula. It is a most brilliant 
and triumphant application of the geographical method to a fundamental 
problem of Sociology. And the next stage in the process by which this 
form of the family became so widely spread, is explained with almost 
equal success. As the sites for new homesteads along the fiords became 
exhausted, the more adventurous sought a new outlet. Passing down the 
west coast of the Danish peninsula, they reached the Saxon plain, which 
stretching far inland, forced those who had been sea-coast fishermen for 



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Z88 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

many ages to turn away from the sea. On islands of fertile soil rising 
above the floods, on banks of mud painfully won for agriculture from 
sea and marsh, these colonists formed their homes, as well fitted to preserre 
their type of family as the fiords were to produce it. They found the 
country almost uninhabited, and they were already in possession when 
Tacitus wrote.. " They live," said he, " in isolated and scattered dwell- 
ings, which they erect wherever a spring or field or wood takes their 
fancy." From them came the Franks and the Saxons who carried the 
particularist family into Gaul and Britain. 

Here at once a difficulty presents itself. It is admitted that the Franks 
and the Saxons came, not as the individual offshoots of the particularist 
family but as large organised bands. At the head of the Franks were the 
Merovingians and their truste; at the head of the Saxons, the founders 
of the Anglo-Saxon Kingships. These were surely no products of the 
petty landowners of the Saxon plain. M. de Tourville admits this, and 
falls back on the Odinid theory expounded in La Science Sociale by M. 
Champault» a Leplayan sociologist with a still more adventurous scientific 
imagination. According to this theory, Europe was in early times 
traversed by caravan routes from East to West. The spread of civilisation 
around the Mediterranean, made these routes run from South to North; 
and the Roman conquests still further diminished their importance. The 
leaders of the caravans would form associations similar to those of the 
traders of the Sahara in our own time. One leader is identified with 
Odin, afterwards deified as the God of Commerce, whose name is still 
borne among us by the fourth day of week. He had his seat in a great 
city near the Don, and in addition exploited mines in Pontus. Harassed 
by the victories of the Romans over Mithradates, he removed his business 
headquarters to the other end of his caravan route, and began to work 
the Swedish mines. The invasions of the barbarians were really directed 
by the Odinids — ^the successors of the caravan leaders, who sought to make 
up for the decay of commerce by the profits of pillage and exploitation. 
It was from the Odinids that Cerdic and Clevis and the Merovingian 
truste sprung. Insufficient as may seem the evidence on which this 
amazing theory is founded, it certainly is in harmony with the account 
of the rise of civilisation in Scandinavia contained in Norse poetry. With 
regard to one point, Mr. H. Munro Chadwick whose work on " The Origin 
of the English Nation" was noticed in the January number of this Rbvibw, 
and whose method is entirely different fr(Mn that of M. de Tourville, says : 
" Quite possibly even the families which eventually succeeded in establish- 
ing Kingdoms may not all have been of English blood " ; and he insists 
that the Saxons were not " leaderless hordes united only by bonds of 
consanguinity." 

The Frank carving out an estate for himself in Gaul was in a very 
different position to the petty farmer of the Saxon plain ; but he had 
brought with him the same constitution of the family. With this, the 
method employed by the Romans in working their estates by gangs of 
slaves under the direction of a steward did not at all harmonise. On the 
contrary, the Franks originated the Manor, with its division into two 
parts, the Lord's domain and the holdings of the serfs, the one supplying 
produce to the Lord, the other labour.. This in M. de Tourville's view 
was the central institution of feudalism, which triumphed under Charle- 
magne, the typical owner of great manorial estates. These estates were 
self-contained and isolated, each sdf-supporting with it« own industries 
and its own government — ^the apotheosis of the particularist family. 



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REVIEWS Z89 

involving the subordination of public to private life. But excellent as 
this organisation seems to M. de Tourville, it did not last. The peasants 
grew rich and ccnnmuted their services for fixed dues. The towns bought 
their emancipation. The Lords of the Manor sunk from directors of 
industry to receivers of fixed rents. Deprived of their local functions, 
and with their fixed incomes becoming less and less in purchasing power, 
thej became crusaders and knight-errants and set up in Jerusalem and 
elsewhere formal copies of decaying feudalism. Such was the sordid 
origin of the great deeds of chivalry. But in this partial view, in this 
concentration on the industrial shell of society, we have one of the danger- 
ous errors of the I^eplayan school. A passing mention of the usefulness 
of the Feudal system as a means of defence against further inroads of 
the barbarians would really, if followed up, give the key to its rise and 
its decay. Nor is it possible to appraise medieval civilisation and leave 
the Catholic Church out of account. In M. de Tourville's work, there is 
one difficulty that is not met. No indication is given as to the relation 
between the Manor and the Village Community. The isolated estate with 
its Prankish Lord might represent a development of the particularist 
family. It is almost suggested that such a family in its isolation would 
be found also in the hut of the serf. But we know that over a great 
part of the territory occupied by the Franks, as over a large part of 
England, the serfs of the manor lived in a village, a tenement in which 
gave a right to a share of the strips in the common fields, and that isolated 
farmers and farmhouses were unknown. In spite of M. de Tourville's 
banter directed against the venerable M. Fustel de Coulangee and his 
fondness for Roman origins, is it not possible that though the Frank's 
own family was particularist and though to him the political isolation 
of the estate was due, yet he only imposed himself on a political organisa- 
tioti already existing? May not this account for the ease with which the 
particularist family was overthrown in France, and the French Monarchy 
erected on the ruins of Feudalism? 

In his account of English civilisation, M. de Tourville distinguishes 
between the particularist Saxons and the patriarchal Angles; but 
unfortunately there is considerable evidence, marshalled by Mr. Chadwick 
in the work already mentioned, to show that the Angles and the Saxons 
had become one people before they ever reached England. The attempt 
to deduce the differences between the course of history in France and 
England from the greater strength of the particularist family in the 
latter must be pronounced unsuccessful. For instance, the failure of the 
French to rival the English at sea is surely more adequately explained 
by the existence of a land frontier in France which needed guarding than 
by the wickedness of that evil institution, the French Monarchy. It is 
true that the geographical environment has less influence on an established 
civilisation than on one that is undeveloped or decaying ; but it is strange 
to find a follower of Leplay disregarding it altogether. No nation in 
Europe in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries had sufficient resources 
to be strong at once on sea and land. La Hogue and Trafalgar alone 
rendered possible the campaigns of Marlborough and Wellington. Again, 
the greater prosperity of English agriculture during many centuries is 
attributed entirely to the superiority of English institutions, and not at 
all to the greater security of England's insular position in the ages 
immediately preceding. In this matter, time has not dealt kindly with 
M. de Tourville's argument. The particularist family still maintains its 



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190 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

position in England, but it would require some audacity to assert that 
English agriculture is more prosperous than French at the present time. 

A general Tiew of the whole book oannot fail to impress the reader 
with the boldness and extent of M. de Tourville's powers of generalisation 
and the perspicacity and insight which he shows in the application of his 
method; but it raises two fundamental doubts, one concerning his 
conclusions, the other concerning his principles. The first is evoked by 
his assertion of the permanent superiority of the particularist family, 
and the inferiority of a social system based on personal relations to one 
based on landed property. A consideration of M. de Tourville's own work 
suggests rather that the former system was temporary, and could only 
exist in its plenitude under circumstances such as those of Europe 
generally in the middle ages or of the still more peculiar circumstances 
which perpetuated the rule of the landed classes in England. Here is an 
illuminating passage: — 

"Whatever slight variations there may have been, it nevertheless 
came about that from one end of France to the other the whole of the 
new population which the development of manufacture had caused to 
spring up in the towns escaped from the control of the domain and the 
control of the lord which the Franks had established. The strength 
that had been based on the estate was there replaced by a strength based 
on personal bonds, or the community," 

In other words the Leplayan ideal of the subordination of public to 
private life proved then — and has proved more and more ever since — 
incompatible with the developments of modern industry. And in regard 
to the second point, is the key to modern progress to be found in changes 
of social structure due to changes in industrial organisation ? That such 
a correlation exists, there can be no doubt; nor is it the least fruitful 
province of Sociological investigation. But in modern times at least the 
passage from one social phase to another has not been due solely to the 
slow decay of the industrial system characteristic of the earlier phase. 
There has been a continuous growth of modern science, precipitating and 
controlling the revolutions of industry. M. de Tourville himself says: — 

" It is also easy to understand with what eagerness these manufac- 
turers, who possessed all the Saxon fighting instincts, took up all the 
new mechanical and steam inventions which began to appear owing to 
the progress made by science.'' 

Surely, then, " the progress made by science " is a vital element in deter- 
n^ining the general evolution, even if it be not the very element which 
initiates the passage from one stage of civilisation to another. And 
surely this intellectual development should have a very much greater 
place in the study of Sociology than that assigned to it by the school of 
Leplay. 

S. H. SWINNT. 



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EUGENICS. 

"Noteworthy Families." By Francis Galton and Edgar Schuster. 

John Murray. 
"Social Dbmocract aito Population." By Alvan A. Tenney, Ph.D. 

CoMmbia University Press, New York. 
" Thb Scopb akd Importancb to thb Statb of thb Scibncb op National 

EtjQBNics." Robert Boyle Lecture, 1907. By Karl Pearson. 

Henry Frowda 
" Probability : thb Foundation of Euobnics." Herbert Spencer Lecture, 

1907. By Francis Galton. Clarendon Press. 
" An Introduction to thb Thbory of Mbntal and Social Mbasurbmbnts." 

By Edward L. Thomdike. The Science Press, New York. 

Since Eugenics as a branch of scientific investigation was placed 
definitely before the public by Mr. Galton's Huxley Lecture, and his 
subsequent Memoirs given before the Sociological Society, publication in 
this department has been somewhat limited. This does not signify, 
however, that the energies of those interested in the subject have in any 
degree relaxed. Mr. Galton's first utterances, though based on many 
years of study, pretended to be no more than the outline sketch of a 
science ; it was necessary that it should be filled in by detailed researches, 
thia, not merely with reference to the immediate subject-matter of 
Eugenics, but with reference to the general application of biological 
principles to human beings. This preliminary work has been carried on 
largely by Professor Earl Pearson and his students, and the results have 
appeared from time to time in the pages of " Biometrika." The intimate 
relation of these studies to Eugenics proper has been emphasized by the 
fact that the Eugenics Foundation in the University of London has been 
placed under the supervision of Professor Earl Pearson. 

The volume on *^ Noteworthy Families" is the first product of the 
University of London Research Fellowship in Eugenics. It consists of a 
study of sixty members of the Royal Society living in 1904 who possessed 
as many as three noteworthy kinsmen. The arrangement is alphabetical, 
and exhibits the various family relationships which are considered note- 
worthy. The surprising fact is made apparent that the scientific ability 
d the country, of the F.R.S. grade, comes from comparatively few 
family stocks, while the kinship of men able in other directions is no less 
pronounced. But perhaps the most valuable part of the book is the long 
preface contributed by Mr. Galton, which is in many respects the most 
comprehensive and lucid exposition he has yet given. He not only 
analyses the facts that come out of the study in hand, but provides the 
general background of principle. In the last few years many objections 
have been raised to the Eugenic proposals, but in view of the large and 
impartial exposition given in this preface, most of them seem trivial. 
The sections devoted to noteworthiness are especially to be commended, 
as also that dealing with the correlation of ability with environment. 

Dr. Tenney's short treatise deserves mention in this connection as 
being the first attempt to relate the Eugenic principle to the general 
theory of society. The problem is a difficult one, and the book makes no 
pretension to have satisfied ita requirements. Apart from the large gaps 
in our knowledge, the difficulty of correlating sMnewhat inoongrous sets 
of results is so pronounced that no one can undertake more than a 



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192 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

preliminary triangulation of the field. Dr. Tenney's view of social 
democracy appears too limited and too much a reading from contemporary 
conditions in the United States. There is too much of flux in the social 
conditions of that country to bring them in close rdation widi relatively 
permanent biological laws. The value of the bo<^ lies then in its intent 
rather than its achievement. It states the problem of the relation of 
society to biology in such a way as to form a useful guide for investigators. 

Professor Earl Pearson's Robert Boyle Lecture is a skilful propagandist 
presentation intended to affect opinion in that centre which originates 
the larger number of determining influences in national life, namely, 
Oxford University. For his purposes, Professor Pearson frankly treats 
Oxford as a Technical School whose objective is not the training of 
engineers or physicians, but statesmen. The question naturally arises 
as to what in the curriculum can most efficiently give preparation in 
statecraft. Philosophy, political economy, even anthropcdogy, fail to be 
of great value in connection with the practical issues which determine the 
course and destiny of a nation. Prominent in a schoc^ of statecraft 
should be ihe study of those biological factors which affect races and 
which form, as Professor Weldon says, ^' the only legitimate basis for 
speculations as to their past history and future fate." 

The lecturer proceeds to justify this contention by presenting in 
general outline some of the results already attained by the laboratory of 
national Eugenics. Examples of family history are given to show the 
hereditary character of ability on the one hand, and the forms of 
degeneracy on the other. But the full understanding and interpretation 
of such pedigrees require the use of a scientific instrument, hitherto only 
slightly applied in biological and human science. This method is the 
metrical, or statistical. It is not only important to know that human 
beings tend to retain certain characteristics through heredity, it is even 
more important to know the exact degree of this retention, and corre- 
spondingly of variation. Modern statistical methods are able to give the 
exact quantitative measure of likeness, or unlikenees, as between parents 
and children and between children of the same family. With coeflicients 
of correlation established for the important physical and psychical 
characters, it is possible to apply these in an interpretation of rates of 
changes in the various divisions of the population. Attention is first 
given to the degenerate section. As a practical problem, the question is 
an old one, and the various expedients, from Plato's method of purgation 
of the State, described in the " Laws,'' down to recent times, have had the 
same character, namely, that of permitting the more or less efficient 
operation of natural selection. The stringent methods of dealing with the 
criminal and insane classes tended to save ihe community from corruption 
through perpetuating their kind, but in recent years these methods have 
radically changed and are now largely controlled by sympathy, itself an 
important acquisition of civilization, with the result that the degenerate 
section of the community is allowed to propagate practically without 
restriction. The consequences of these conditions are shown definitely by 
statistical studies already made. It has been proved by Messrs. Schuster 
and Heron and Professor Pearson that deaf-mutism, insanity and 
pulmonary tuberculosis are highly inheritable, the parental coefficient 
of correlation being in each case at or above '5. The significance of this 
fact appears when it is compared with the birth-rate among these classes, 
which is distinctly higher than that of normal persons. The only 
restriction of the character of natural selection is the death-rate, but since 



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REVIEWS 193 

only from half to three-quarters of the wh<^e number of deaths are of a 
selective oharacter, this does not compensate for the fertility of the unfits 
and, moreover, it is not clear that the selective death-rate has less effect 
upon normal than upon abnormal sections. The result is that the heritage 
of degeneracy is constantly increasing, and the time must come when its 
proportion will be so overwhelming that the State could hardly survive a 
crisis. 

But) while Eugenics brings this realization of danger to the national 
destiny, it equally suggests tibe nK>de of salvation. The inheritability of 
ability, physical and mental, is as well proved as that of degeneracy. It, 
therefore, becomes an ethical obligation to those inspired with an idea of 
national greatness to follow the method which Eugenic investigation has 
so abundantly proved, and contribute to the nation a stock, sound in 
body and in mind, if possible with its germinal quality and quantity 
increased, in order to make a race that can meet the emergencies which the 
future course of history may present. 

In his Prohahility : The Foundation of Eugenics, Mr. Galton gives an 
outline of the theory of probability, and shows its simplest methods of 
application to Eugenics. It is his belief that the principles on which 
problems of probability are based can be taught in such a way as to be 
grasped by one ignorant of mathematics. To do this, he outlines a scheme 
of five lessons. The first lesson would explain variability of size, weight, 
number, etc., by presenting arrays of variates and showing how they fall 
into a continuous series. The second lesson would treat the idea of an 
array with more precision, by showing schemes of distribution and 
centesimal graduation of the base. The third lesson would proceed from 
variates to deviates and show the genesis of the theoretical normal curve 
and the use of the quartile. The fourth lesson would show the different 
forms of the curve of normal distribution, and the meaning of the curve 
of frequency, and its unit of variability, the standard deviation. Hie 
last lesson would deal with the measurement of correlation and the 
determination of the index of correlation. The last section of the lecture 
is concerned with the influence of collective opinion upon individual 
conduct. The individual is shown to be largely at the mercy of a series 
of customs, prejudices and other influences. Illustrations are given of 
how this body of controlling sentiment has changed in the past, and the 
probability is indicated that when Eugenics is sufficiently established on 
its basis of evidence it will alter the attitude of man toward matters 
affecting the quality of the race. 

In connection with Mr. Galton's attempt to make available for non- 
mathematical students the more simple of the statistical methods used in 
Eugenic investigation, should be mentioned a book not yet well-known in 
this country. Professor Thorndike's " Theory of Mental and Social 
Measurements." For the inadequately trained student who desires to 
make use of statistical methods, this is one of the best introductory 
treatises in existence. J. W. S. 



"The Risb of the Grhbk Epic." By Gilbert Murray. Oxford: 

Clarendon Press. 
"LiFH IN THE HoMBRic AoB." By Thomas Day Seymour. New York: 

The Macmillan Company. 

Whatever else the term Sociology may connote, it stands at least for 
Science as applied to the phenomena of society; whilst Science in its turn 



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X94 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

stands at least for Method. Now here are two opposite methods of 
studying Homer: Dr. Murra/s evolutionary, dynamic; Prof. Seymour's 
classifieatory, statio. Which of the two mediods is the sounder) If the 
point of view taken be that of Sociology and Science, there can, I venture 
to think, be little doubt as to the answer. But this is, apparently, not 
the only point of view from which Homer and the Homeric Age may be 
studied. Prof. Seymour openly declares that his interest in the matter is 
not so much archaeological as philological. 

Let anyone who wishes to compare the two methods place side by side 
Prof. S^mour's and Dr. Murray's chapters on Homeric arms and annour. 
Both authors have got hold of substantially the same facts. But what a 
difference in the use made of them 1 Not but what Prof. Seynoour is forced 
by the facts themselves to recognise discrepancies; on the strength of 
which, as he is not unaware, problems of development suggest themselves 
as inevitably as when fossils of different epochs appear one below the other 
in the riven side of a Colorado cafion. But he is not interested in 
problems of development. Philology carefully collects the fossils, and 
proceeds to decorate a rockery with them. For Dr. Murray, on the other 
hand, the facts are something nK>re than curious or pretty. They are full 
of infinite meaning ; only make them speak, and what a tale might th^ 
unfold. It is a little hard, no doubt, on Prof. Seymour to pillory his 
work as an example of misguided method. This drawback allowed for, 
the work might be described as excellent of its kind — conscientious, 
thorough, and lucid. Here, however, where Sociology is our parti prisy 
no allowance of the sort can be made. Sociology is before all else a 
critique of methods, and is based on, nay, may almost be said to consist in, 
the methodological principle that man and his works must be studied in 
the light of, and for the sake of, the Whole. 

Now no one dare accuse Dr. Murray of being in any way untrue to 
philology. His is primarily a literary interest; he is, in fact, giving us a 
first instalment of a history of Greek literature. But he is anxious to 
consider Greek literature from a new standpoint, which he explains, and, 
I think, successfully justifies, in his first lecture. He wishes to concern 
himself with it as it bears on "the service of man." For him to be 
classical is not to be dead, but to be alive. Hellenism is a form of the 
spiritual effort whereby man transcends mere animalism. " Allowing for 
indefinite differences of detail, there seems to be a certain primitive 
effortless level of human life, much the same all the world over, below which 
society would cease to be; a kind of world-wide swamp above which few 
nations have built what seems like permanent and well- weathered dwellings. 
Others make transient refuges which sink back into the slough. La 
nostalgit de la houe — 'home-sickness for the mud' — is a strong emotion 
in the human race." We need not pause to enquire whether it is strictly 
true that savagery is always so spiritually effortless as Dr. Murray thinks ; 
whether, in other words, he does not forget that seed may oftentimes lack 
the support of soil, soul the support of body, generous ideals the support 
of numbers, an abundant food-supply, defensible boundaries, and, above 
all, luck. Broadly and, perhaps, rhetorically speaking, however, we may 
say with Dr. Murray that there are only two kinds of man — ^man natural 
and man spiritual ; and that Greece, notably by means of her literature, 
made spiritual man possible for Europe. Even by the time our ' Homer ' 
came into existence the choice had already been made, the rights of man 
were declared, spirituality, civilization,(ra>^/>o(r(;i/i7, salvation — whatever we 
call it» the thing had come to stay. 



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REVIEWS 195 

To get his contrast^ to show what the Hellenism of Homer negates. 
Dr. Murray next proceeds to describe what he effectively terms " the Dark 
Age " — ^the Age of the Migrations. I cannot pretend to judge whether his 
ethnological speculations are in accordance with the latest expert findings. 
For the immediate purpose in view it is enough, with him, to conoeive 
' Mjoenean ' civilization, such as it was — ^something at any rate non-Greek, 
since Greece in one sense was not yet born — going down, less perhaps by 
cataclysm than by gradual dissolution, before wave on wave of barbarian 
Northerners. Thereafter were the days of the Iron race deplored of 
Hesiod : " Their righteousness in their fists I And a man shall sack his 
brother's walled city." Before these Iron Men, according to Hesiod, 
flourished "the divine generation of the Heroes." According to Dr. 
Murray, the Seven against Thebes were Northerners turning back fr<Mn 
Argoe to destroy a stronghold of Orientals (Cadmus — the man fr<Mn the 
East) that menaced their rear, whilst the fight for Troy was a struggle 
between an earlier and later set of Northern immigrants for a toll-gate 
conmianding the traffic that was borne overland to avoid the currents round 
Sigeum. Suppose, then, Mycenean culture " sunk back into the slough," 
with barbarism in possession, dealing in nought but rude feats of arms and 
equally rude saga-songs about the fighting, and how is it that some 
centuries later Homer and Hellenism are in full-blown existence! 

Dr. Murray asks us to imagine — ^the whole argument from first to last 
is addressed to the imagination, and rightly — ^the book of early times. It 
was not a thing to be given to the public. It was rather the private 
stock-in-trade of a professional story-teller who lived by his book. The 
great book of Michael Scott, the magician, was read by no man but one, 
and was buried in its master's grave. But conceive the book of a bard^ 
instead of suffering so untimely a fate, handed on to a disciple who has 
learnt to interpret the difficult letter-marks. Behold it an heirloom, 
jealously guarded, and with each successive owner, with each successive 
great event in the history of the community, changed, expanded, expurgated. 
That, in a few words, is Dr. Murray's theory of Homer. The rest of this 
book consists in a detailed presentation of the proofs of such a progressive 
re-editing. Throughout a very suggestive analogy is employed, of which 
*one has hitherto heard too little in this connection, namely, that of the 
growth of the Pentateuch. Here, too, it is plain, generations of revisers 
have been at work excising, contaminating, incorporating, and what not. 
As regards Homer the individual poet, he may apparently be identified 
with the author either of an earlier Aeolic or of a later Ionian version of 
the Iliad (not to complicate matters by introducing the question of the 
authorship of the Odysseyy a subject in which Dr. Murray appears to be 
somewhat less interested). In any case Ionia seems responsible for the 
final Hellenizing of the Epos. Dr. Murray believes that it was put 
together in its present form to be recited at some great Pan-Ionian 
festival. " One feels in the Iliad the high tension and lift of a great 
occasion — a public occasion, which insists on a tone of dignity and 
correctness in the poems, banishing all that is furtive or unseemly, all 
that could move derision in strangers or hurt the feelings of other Ionian 
States ; inevitably, at the same time, somewhat blighting that profounder 
and more intimate venturesomeness of poetry which cannot quite utter 
itself before a crowd." 

Enough, perhaps, haa been said to illustrate the truly sociological and 
synthetic method of this live book. No doubt the specialists will detect 
slips here and there. One might, for instance, pick holes in some of the 



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Z96 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

anthropological suggestions that are put forward by the way. It is not 
given to any one man to bring all the specialisms into focus. But, as long 
as the informing principle is sound, the details will take care of themaelves. 
One laels inclined to say that, even suppose a good part of its facts and 
hypotheses to be in course of time upset, Dr. Murray's work will remain 
well-nigh as stimulating as before, simply because it has Science. 

R. R. Marbtt. 



"The Stoic Crbbd." By William L. Davidson, M.A., LL.D., Professor 
of Logic and Metaphysics in the University of Aberdeen, etc. 
Pp. xxiii., 274. Edinburgh : T. and T. Qark. 

This work appears in a series published by Messrs. T. and T. Clark 
under the general title of " Religion in Literature and Life." Professor 
Davidson has given an account, for the most part clear and trustworthy, 
of the history of Stoicism and its logical, physical, moral and religious 
doctrines. He illustrates his exposition by abundant quotations from 
Diogenes Laertius, Epictetus, Seneca and Marcus Aurelius, which bring 
the reader into direct contact with Stoic ideas. In general, the book may 
be described as suitable to the purpose of spreading a popular knowledge 
of Stoicism amongst serious and intelligent families. 

Some inaccuracies or negligencies occur : the most serious, perhaps, in 
the account of the consenstu gentium. The practical test of preconceptions 
or common notions, was, says Prof. Davidson, the general consent of 
mankind ; and thereupon he appropriately quotes from Seneca : '' For 
we are wont to lay much stress on the conception (prcRSumptioni) of all 
men, and among us it is regarded as an index of its truth, that a thing 
seems so to all : as, for example, that there are gods we infer, among other 
things, from this, that a belief in God is implanted in all men ; nor is 
there any people so far outside the range of laws and morals as not to 
believe in some gods *' (p. 69). Yet, at p. 81, he writes: "But by 
' universal consent ' the Stoics did not mean the consent of everybody 
throughout the world and throughout the agee, without exception. They 
quite well knew that there are people who will deny anything; and of 
such people they had ample experience in their own day. What they 
meant was that preconceptions are everywhere accepted when the mind is 
calm, clear, and unprejudiced — when, therefore, it is in the state that 
characterises the wise man." Is not this an unjustifiable gloss? 

Our author's style is usually clear and intelligible, but not always 
by any means. Commenting, for example, on the failure of the Stoics 
to reconcile the fact of evil with their optimism, he sa3r8 (p. 226): 
" There is no due appreciation in Stoicism of the fact that, as each 
individual is essentially a social being, the sufferings that he is called upon 
to endure are in great measure vicarious ; and in cases where he suffers 
through others' faults or sins, his sufferings are of the nature of 
atonement, thereby reacting for good upon those whose wrong-doing 
entailed them. This is the philosophy of suffering that is implicated in 
the great truth of the solidarity of mankind, and that illumines much." 
For me, in spite of the italics, it only deepens the obscurity. 

The sixth chapter. The Epicurean Contrast, gives an account of 
Epicureanism, which is commendably sympathetic. It may still be a 
popular notion that Stoicism and Epicureanism were the chief mutual 
opponents in later Greek Philosophy, but it seems better to consider them 
as complementary, offering alternative schemes for the rationalisation of 
life to men of different temperaments. The great opponent of both, 



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REVIEWS 197 

before whom both at last succumbed, was Scepticism ; and it is a serious 
oversight on Prof. Davidson's part to have given hardly a reference to this 
powerful school. He thinks it necessary to refute the Stoics at many 
points, thereby giving his work almost an apologetic character; he 
criticises the sublimities and extravagances of Chrysippus or Seneca as if 
they were still in need of correction, much as Milton requires the 
doctrines of ancient moralists to be reduced " under the determinate 
sentence of David, or Solomon, or the Evangelists and Apostolic 
Scriptures." But how much more interesting it would have been to give 
the Sceptics* objections to Stoicism, that we might see how that philosophy 
appeared to contemporaries amidst the actual conditions, social and 
literary, of its existence at Athens or Rome, than it can be to tell us 
what it now looks like when its fossils are examined at Aberdeen ! 

What a student of Sociology most misses in this book is a just sense of 
the relation of Stoicism to history and anthropology ; in f act^ he finds this 
sort of shortcoming in nearly all histories of Philosophy. From some of 
them you might come away with the impression that Socrates had invented 
the immortality of the soul. In a perfunctory half -page (p. 60) Prof. 
Davidson assigns three causes of the growing importance of the idea of 
cosmopolitanism amongst the later Stoics: the spectacle of the Roman 
Empire, the growth of the theistic conception, and the corruption of the 
times. The first is a commonplace; the second and third themselves need 
explanation. But to these causes with others is due not merely the idea of 
cosmopolitanism, but the whole Stoic Philosophy, and the subject deserves 
a chapter. The history of Philosophy is an inseparable strand of 
universal history: treated in abstraction it is quite unintelligible. We 
know that in our own case problems are forced upon us, and the solutions 
we arrive at are greatly influenced, by the general movement of events, 
by institutions, by the sentiments of our neighbours. It was always so. 
Ilie record of a thin line of greybeards repeating or contradicting one 
another, hides from students the actual conditions of thought and the 
great difference there is in the meaning of the same proposition as it was 
uttered 2,000 years ago, and as we understand it to-day. The history of 
Philosophy needs to be written with wider knowledge than the barren 
region of dialectic can supply, and quite as much as wide knowledge it 
needs imagination. 

Prof. Davidson is puzzled by the Stoic acceptance of divination ; it is, 
he thinks, ** if divination be regarded in its purely superstitious aspect," 
irreooncileable with Fate, or "the conception of God as absolute law or 
order" (p. 230). But^ on the contrary. Fate may be considered as a 
generalisation of the beliefs on which divination is founded, that there are 
such fixed relations amongst events that one is an infallible sign of 
another, though we may not be able to see any connection between them. 
Such beliefs are held by the DK>st primitive folk, even such as have no 
religion, that is, no gods; and this greater antiquity of Fate may be the 
reason why, when gods came to be imagined, it is still superior to them. 
The Stoic acceptance of divination is characteristic of their conservatism 
in all such matters, in contrast with the Epicurean Aufkldrung, The 
reconciliation of Fate with their doctrine of Providence is more difficult. 
Bacon notes it as a weakness of princes that they are apt to desire 
contradictories; and so it is in a measure with philosophers. And to 
explain the connections of all their doctrines we have to fall back upon 
Ribot's position, that the logic of sentiment does not recognise the 
principle of contradiction. Carvbth Rbad. 



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198 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

" British Fubwomsv : Thkr Historical Privilror." By C. C. Stopet. 

Sonnenschein, 1907. 

Into the heated atmosphere of controversy Mrs. Stopes* work oomes 
with something of the effect of a cold douche. Here is to be found no 
sentiment about what is, or is not^ ideally fit^ suiUble, or bec<Mning for 
a woman to do; no discussion about abstract rights or the theoretical 
equality oi the sexes. Mrs. Stopes asks what> in history, the position of 
women actually has been, what is our ancestral heritage of right t 

Her argument, briefly and inadequatdy summarised, runs as follows: 
According to <Ad tradition and the law of the land, under the Feudal 
system, sex in itself did not disqualify a w<»nan from anything. There 
was no excusing a w<»nan a duty, and consequently no denying her a 
priTilege. The adyanUge granted her of " sending a deputy " she was 
allowed in c<Mnmon with men who were too old or infirm to bear arms. 
In ancient times even a married w<»nan could be " free," both as an 
inheritor and as an earner ; free to contract, to sign, to seal, to act as a 
feme sole (p. 20). "Through different principles oi inheritance there 
have always been fewer heiresses than heirs ; through the success of various 
devices protecting male professional and trade industries against 
female competition there have been fewer female owners of earned 
property"; thus representative freewomen have been always in a small 
minoril^. But there can be no doubt that women could be, and were, 
freeholders in towns by inheritance or by purchase; they could be 
free of companies, by patrimohy, service, or payment; or by being widows 
of freemen. The rules varied, but in ahnost all the companies, at least 
in London, s<Hne women could be free. They could be free in other 
boroughs under the same conditions as men by paying brotherhood 
money, and by sharing in the common duties of burgesses ; free in regard 
to the Corporation, and free as regards voting for members of Parliament. 
Of the causes that led to the lapse of women's privileges in these matters 
I must leave Mrs. Stopes to speak for herself; she notes that the process 
did not go on without protest (p. 135). And it was not till 1832 that 
any Act of Parliament had explicitly excluded w<mien as such from the 
franchise, " freeholders " or " persons " being always indicated in 
" Representation of the People " Acts, without any reference to sex. In 
the Reform Bill of 1832 the word "male" was interpolated before 
" persons " in the newly-created boroughs. " Never before and never since 
has the phrase * male person ' appeared in any statute of the Realm." 
Thus for the first time in the history of the English Constitution women 
were technically disfranchised, though not as regards the older boroughs. 
In 1867 the Bill for the extension of the franchise made use of the word 
man instead of " male person." As, according to an Act of 1860, it had 
been declared that words importing the masculine gender shall be deemed 
to include females, except where otherwise stated, it would seem that the 
Act of 1867 did actually enfranchise the women who came within its scope. 
In Manchester over 5,000 women got themselves placed upon the register, 
and great uncertainty prevailed how to treat than. In most cases the 
revising barrister threw them out, but it would appear that in several 
cases women exercised their vote. In a law case, Charlton v. Lings, 
which was instituted to ascertain the legal position of the women voters, 
the argument was used that no statute had taken their right away from 



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REVIEWS Z99 

women, because they never had any. Judgment was given against the 
women on the gn>und that the right, not having been asserted for 
centuries, was a strong presumption against its ever having legally existed 
(p. 173). Mrs. Stopes' book is devoted to showing that this judgment 
was based on an inadequate knowledge of history and fact. It cannot be 
overlodced by those who desire to see the woman question in a true 
perspective. Mrs. Stopes has at least made it evident that the appeal to 
custom, history and tradition, is not all on one side. 

B. L. HUTCHINB. 



"Ak Introductiok to Child STtiDT." By W. B. Drunamond, M.B., 
Assistant Physician to the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, 
Edinburgh. Author of ''The Child: His Nature and Nurture." 
Pp. 344. Edward Arnold. 6s. net. 

Child study, beginning with the teacher, soon spreads to the physician ; 
to-day students of Sociology and of politics are turning to it for help in 
understanding the conditions and laws of human life and development. 
Also *' the philologist turns to baby linguistics," and " the anthropologist, 
unable to discover a living specimen of primitive man, turns to the child 
as his nearest representative." Hence this book should find a welcome 
in many quarters. 

The title describes very truly the aim and scope of the book, it lays a 
foundation for a science of 'genetic psychology,' rather than provides a 
manual of the material already collected by child studies to quote the 
writer: "We must b^n with the simplest things, and make sure our 
knowledge of foundations before seeking to understand the more complex 
phenomena which grow from them." Hie first ninety pages form a 
propedeutic to child study generally, discussing such subjects as " Biology 
and Child Study," " Caution in Child Study," " Methods of Child Study." 
The next hundred are given to physiological questions concerning babies 
and the growth and health of children ; " Instincts," " Habits," " Forms 
of Expression " and " Moral Characteristics " take another hundred ; then 
come two brief chapters on " Religion and the Child," and on " Peculiar 
and Exceptional Children." 

The treatment of the subject is eminently sane and well balanced, 
statistics and facts are supplied where they are required, but details and 
instances more attractive to the general reader are not excluded. Tlxe 
following is an example of the writer's style : " All mental phenomena 
develop through an ascending series of stages, and on the capitalisation of 
our acquisitions by habit depends the possibility of the passage from stage 
to stage. The development of feeling in the form of sense-perception 
brings the child to a knowledge of the outside world, to the formation of 
ideas and so to his intellect. . . . Acts which have been reflex and 
instinctive are learned, understood, chosen deliberately, and, it may be, 
forged by frequent repetition into habits — ^habits which may be performed 
as automatically as instincts, yet carry with them the moral value of acts 
of wiU." 

M. E. FiNDLAT. 



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200 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 



"What is RauoiONt" By Wilhelm Bousset, Professor in the University 
of Gottingen. Translated by F. B. Low. London: T. Fisher 
Unwin, Adelphi Terrace, 1907. 

A series of popular, historical lectures on the Religion of Savages, 
National Religions, the Religion of the Prophets, of tl^ Law (Judaism, 
Zoroastrianism, Islamism) and of Redemption (Buddhism, Platonism and 
Christianity). 

The treatment of Buddhism is particularly admirable for the simpli- 
city and the directness with which its fundamental ideas are expressed. 
In the final lecture, on the Future of Christianity, it is declared that the 
Pauline-Lutheran conception of Christianity with its belief in Special 
Inspiration, Divinity of Christ, Atonement, Miracles, is doomed, but that 
Christianity will survive in a form no longer antagonistic to modern 
culture^, namely, the Christianity of Christ himiself. 

J. H. Lbuba. 



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PARLIAMENTARY PAPERS 20Z 



PARLIAMENTARY PAPERS. 

COST OF LIVING OF THE WORKING CLASSES. 
(Cd. 3864, 1908.) 

This inquiry was undertaken in order to supplement the two well-known "Fiscal 
Blue Books/' cd. 1761 (1903) and cd. 2337 (1904), and is partially based on returns 
there given as to working-class expenditure on rent, food and fuel, and the proportion 
which that expenditure bears to the total income. Two similar reports are in pre- 
paration, dealing with France and Germany, and the data, when completed, will serve 
(1) as a basis for a comparison of working-class conditions in the various districts of 
the United Kingdom, and for the study of local variations in wages and in the cost 
of living ; (2) as a standard for comparison with foreign countries ; (3) as a standard 
for comparison over a period of years for the same localities and countries, shonld 
such enquiries be repeated. 

The 1904 report showed that, in spite of a rise in rent, fuel and light, between 
1880 — 1900, the whole cost of living during the period fell, as shown in the following 
table:— 

Cost of Living of Working Classes. 

(The year 1900» 100.) 

Index number of 

Period. cost of living. 

Average of Quinquennial period of which the middle year is 1880 ... 120*6 

1886 ... 108-2 

18W ... 100-9 

1«96 ... W6 

>f tt » i, »y 99 if 1^0 ... ^^'7 

The chief advantage of the 1908 over the 1904 report, is, that the later investiga- 
tion covers 73 large towns in England and Wales instead of only 20, and that the 
standard adopted is now definite, the index numbers being calcolated on the basis 
of the middle zone of London (excluding the outer suburbs and the business portion 
of the town) as 100. 

With regard to prices it is shown that there are 9 towns above London (100) and 
63 below. The total range lies between Dover (106) and Stockport and Wigan (88). 

Geographically, the lowest mean index number for groceries, coal and meat com- 
bined, is Lancashire and Cheshiro (92), the highest is the Southern Counties (102). 
Broadly speaking prices are high in the north, lower in Yorkshire, Lanc a shir e and 
the Midlands, and rise again in the South and East. 

To obtain the resultant cost of living the index numbers of rents and prices are 
combined.* Rent is given a weight of 1 and prices of 4. London (100) is at the 
head of the list because of its high rwits, Croydon (99) is high because of its 
proximity to London, Dover (96) is third because of its high prices (106, while its 
rent is 66). The broad result is to show that there is very little difference between 
the majority of towns with regard to the cost of living. Thirty-eight of the seventy- 
thxee towns are included in the range between 86 and 90, and fifty-two between that 
of 84 and 92. 

• The cost of clothing, which was included in the 1904 table given above, is not 
mentioned. 



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THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 



In order to compare the weekly rates of wages, four trades were chosen which 
are represented in nearly all of the towns — building, engineering, printing (hand 
compositors only), and furnishing. In the case of bricklayers there is seen to be 
great variation as only 37 out of the 72 towns selected came within the ''predominant 
r|nge" of wages (i.e., from 37s. 6d. to 40s. 6d., whilst in the furnishing trade (French 
polishers) 33 out of 35 towns were included in the range. Taking London as 100, the 
index numbers for skilled labour are seen to vary between Croydon (105) and 
Bedford and Dover (64). Unskilled labour varies between Croydon (110) and 
Swindon (74). 

An attempt is made to discover the approximate level of real wages by obtaining 
a ratio between money wages and cost of living. This is done by taking the mean 
of the index numbers of the groups of wages in each district and dividing it by 
the combined index number of rents and prices. The result does not indicate any 
general law of connection between local variation of wages and of the cost of living, 
indeed, in the two districts where wages are the highest — Lancashire and Cheshire 
104, and the Midlands 100 — ^the rents and prices combined are respectively 84 and 85, 
which are the lowest of all. It must, however, be remembered that 'the selected 
trades were few in number, and that only the standard rate of wages has been given. 

D. Shika Pottba. 



Sixty-ninth Anntud Bfiport of the Begtstrar-Oeneral of Births, Marriages and 
Deaths in England and Wales (1906 J, Cd S8SS, 

This Report is of course one of the indispensable documents for the student of 
contemporary sociological changes. From its masses of information we extract one 
or two salient items. The chief of these is the continued fall in the birthrate. This 
rate reached its highest recorded point, viz., 86*3 per 1000 living in 1876 ; since then 
it has fallen by suooessive stages to 27*1 in 1906. The fall is general. Beckoning the 
proportion of legitimate births to 1,000 wives, aged between 15 and 45, we get the 
following changes in the 20 years 1880—2 to 1900—^2. 



The Netherlands 


-9-3 


Spain 


.. +0-4 


Norway 


-3-7 


Belgium 


.. -19-8 


Prussia 


-71 


England and Wales 


.. -17-7 


Ireland 


+2-3 


France 


.. -19-7 


German Empire 


-8-4 


Queensland 


.. -23-2 


Austria 


+0-8 


Western Australia 


.. -28-9 


Scotland 


-12-7 


South Australia 


.. -280 


Italy 


-2-6 


N. S. Wales 


.. -30-6 


Sweden 


-8-2 


Victoria 


.. -24-2 


Switzerland 


-6-4 


New Zealand 


.. -24-5 


Donnifirlc 


-9-8 







Taking the proportion of illegitimate births to unmarried women of the same ages 
the ratio has fallen by 44 per cent, in England and Wales since 1876. 

The death-rate showed a rise of 0*2 per 1,000 on 1905, the lowest recorded, but 
was 1*4 below the mean of 1896—1905. 



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PARLIAMENTARY PAPERS 

The following abbreviated table shows the movement : — 

Mean Annual Death-rate per 1,000 living. 
187&— 80 . 
1881—85 . 
1886—90 . 
1891—96 . 
1896—1900. 
1900—06 . 
1906 ... . 



203 



20-79 
19-40 
18*89 
18-71 
17-69 
16-00 
15-88 



In the forty years ending in 1900, though the death-rate for all ages fell by about 
15 per cent., "no such corresponding reduction could be recorded" in the deaths of 
children under 12 months. Since the beginning of the century there has been a 
change for the better, which the Report holds " may fairly be ascribed " in part to 
the effect of an awakened public opinion. The rate is subject to wide fluctuations, 
''mainly caused by variations of summer temperature and rainfall." For the years 
1896—1900 it was 156 per 1,000 births; for 1900—05 it was 138, for 1906 it was 132. 
The variation according to countries is great, ranging from 84 per 1,000 in Wiltshire 
to 157 in Lancashire. 



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ao4 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 



PERIODICAL LITERATURE. 

Thi Economic Jouknal. Vol. xviii, No. 69. — W. H. Beveridge : Public Labour 
Exchanges in Germany. Labour Exchanges have multiplied rapidly in the last four 
years. The number of situations filled by them increases and now bears a considerable 
proportion to the whole population. But they are still only at the beginning of their 
development. Professor T. N. Carver : A Suggestion for a new Economic Arithmetic. 
Edgar Harper : WHl the Bating of Land Values increase urban congestion ? Combats 
views of Major Darwin and Dr. Cannan. The proposed system would stimulate 
building on Uie outskirts of towns, not in the centre. It would also stimulate agri- 
culture. Professor £. C. K. Conner : Some ConMerations about Interest. The 
motives and methods of provision for the future are various and it is not clear that 
interest is socially essential to stimulate the adequate provision of capital for 
industry. Professor 8. J. Chapman : Ijaws of Increasing and Decreasing Returns in 
Production and Consumption, 



Tbm Quabtiblt Journal of Economics. Vol. zzii, No. 2.— T. N. Carver: 
Machinery and the Labourer. The labourer has gained something in wages through the 
introduction of machinery, but less than other classes. On the other hand in the nature 
of his work he has probably gained more. A. P. Andrew : Hoarding in the Panic 
of 1907. Between August and December more than 230 millions of curr^icy dis- 
appeared from the banks. No such general suspension of payments has occurred in 
England since the Napoleonic wars. 



Thi Yali Rivibw. Vol. xvi, No. 4.— Henry C. Emery : Some Lessons on the 
Panic. Discusses causes of financial crisis, indicates modifications of accepted opinions. 
Increased power of clearing house associations, provision of adequate means for 
contraction and redonption in bank issues are suggested as preventive methods before 
emergency. — Maurice H. Robinson : The Legal, Economic, and Accounting Principles 
involved in the Judicial Determination of Railway Passenger Rates. 



RiYisTA Intbrnationalb di Scienzb Sociali b Disciplinb Ausiliabib. L. Mietta : 
7/ contratto eollettivo di lavoro et le assotiatione operaie. — ^A survey of the growth of 
collective bargaining in England, the United States, Germany, and France. E. 
Veroesi : Verso un ordine cristiano saddle. An account of the efforts of the Marquis 
La Tour-du-Pin to promote Christian Socialism. The French Revolution engendered 
a ruthless Individualism. A Counter-Revolution is needed to re-establish corporate 
action, in the spirit of " Christian justice." P. A. Palmieri : La questione rutena 
nella Galizia. M. Chiri : II lavoro dei fanciulli neW industria in Italia. — Statistics as 
to child-labour. 



Rbvub Intbrnationalb db Sociologib. Vol. xvi, No. 1.— Victor Paraf : Les 
hStels pour la dasse ouvriire. An account of the Rowton Houses, and of similar 
institutions in Birmingham, Liverpool, Glasgow, New York and Milan. The writer 
concludes with the aspiration that some philanthropist may endow France with similar 
institutions. — "Bmb^ Maunier : Vie religieuse et vie Iconomique. Specialisation in in- 
dustries arises from the clan organisation. The clan on losing its family character 
becomes a caste. The first organised profession is the priesthood, from which others 
arise by differentiation. In the civilised world differentiation increases while ex- 
clusiveness diminishes.— Soci^t^ de Sociologie de Paris. Paper by Dr. Paul Harten- 
berg: Les types professionels: le boursier. Study of the moral atmosphere of the 
Bourse. Ite frequenters are good "fathers of families," easy going and generous, 
but essentially gamblers and in public matters unscrupulous. 



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PERIODICAL LITERATURE 205 

zvi :2. — G. Asian : Lt probUme moral au XIXe sUcle. How the question of re- 
establishing morality on rational foundations was conceived by Comte and other 
thinkers of the last century. — ^Ren^ MauniBr : Vie religietue tt vie iconomiqut (con- 
cluded). Primitive specialisation is based not on the natural choice of individuab 
but on religious conceptions of the nature of things ; in these conceptions there is a 
collective tradition which is the really operative force. — Soci6U de Sociologie de 
Paris. Paper by Maurice Wolf : LtB types professionneh : rin^tituteur. A sketch of 
the changes in the position of the teacher from the ancien rigime to the present day ; 
a short discussion of the present attitude of the profession. 



RivTTE Di MiTAPHYsiQTTB ET DB MosALB. Vol. xvi, 1. — Emile Boutroux : William 
James et Vexpirience religteuse. Questions the possibility of detaching religious 
experience from concrete beliefs and institutions. M. Winter : Sur la Logique du 
Droit. P. Bureau : Le droit de grlve et la liherti du travail. 



La Lbctuka. Rbvista de Ciencias y de Artes. Vol. viii» No. 86.— Adolfo 
Posada : Sabre la definicidn de la Sodologia. 



ViBRTEUAHBSSCHBIFT fOR WI8SEN8CHA1TLICHB PHIIX)SOPHIB UND SOZIOLOOIB. 

Vol. xxxi, No. 4. — Paul Barth : Die Soziologie Albert Schdffles, An appreciation of 
Schaffle's position in Sociology. Society is a spiritual organism, and it is a funda- 
mental error in Schaffle to have included the material environment and forms of 
property within the sphere of Sociology. Nevertheless, he has done valuable service 
to the idea of a sociology grounded on history. 



RiviSTA Italiana di Sociolooia. Anno xi, Fasc. vi.— G. Sergi : Intomo alia 
monogeneei del linguaggio : Combats Prof. Trombetti's theory of an " Ursprache." 
He rejects the specific unity of mankind on anthropological grounds, and argues that 
linguistic affinities, far from implying a common origin, are the result of endless 
mixing and combination between different forms of speech. — F. Tonnies : La scienia 
economica e la fUoeofia. Asserts that the tendency of the day is to treat economic 
problems in a more philosophic spirit, i.e., the postulates of Economic Science are 
critically examined; its problems are brought into relation with those of the other 
branches of Sociology; and the direction of future advance Lb thought out in the 
light of an ideal. — A Vago : L'amministratione finanziaria nella repubblica di Veneiia. 



Anthropos. Internationalb Zeitschrift fDr VOlkbr — u. Sprachkundb. F. Q. 
A. Morice : The Great Dini Race. Their dress and personal habits. Mental and 
moral characteristics. Contrast between the ferocious Apaches and the " Hares " or 
Chepewyans. P. J. Caius : In the land of caste (Bibliography). C. von Coll : 
Marriage among the natives of Turinam. Fr. Aeg. Muller : Soothsaying among the 
Kaffirs. The witch-doctor's dance. How far soothsayers believe in tlrair own powers. 
P. E. Bougier : Maladies and Remedies in Fiji, formerly and to-day. — ^Demonolatry, 
Ancestor-worship, Animal-worship, Fetishism. P. M. Friedrich : Description of the 
burial of a chief at Ibonzo (Niger). P. V. M. Egidi : The Kuni Tribe (New Guinea). 
L. Cadi^ri: Popular Philosophy in Annam. Dr. Casartelli : Hindu Mythology. 
L. Levistre : Dolmens in Algeria. 

Man. Vol. viii, No. 2.— Dr. J. G: Frazer : The Australian Marriage Laws. 
Professor Westermarck : The Killing of the Divine King. In Morocco it is not the 
spirit of the king, but his holiness which passes to his successor. It may be that the 
killing of an old or failing king has the object of transferring his holiness unpolluted. 
R. H. Matthews : Social Organisation of the Ngeumba Tribe, New South Wales. 
Marriage cycles and genealogical tables. No. S. A von Gennep : Questions 
Australiennes. Dr. A. C. Haddon : Regulations for obtaining a Diploma of Anthro- 
pology in the University of Cambridge, 



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206 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 



BOOKS RECEIVED. 

Brown, H. F. Studies in Venetian History. Murray. 

Simmel, G. Die Probleme der Oeschichtsphilosophie. 

Breysig, Earl. Aufgaben u. Massstabe einer allegemeinen Ges- 

chichtsschreibung. Georg Bondi, Berlin. 
Acton, Lord (the late). History of Freedom and Other Essays. 

Macmillan, 10s. net. 
Acton, Lord (the late). Historical Essays and Studies. Macmillan, 

10s. net. 
Simmel, G. Philosophic des Geldes. 

Breysig, Earl. Altherthum und Mittelalter. Georg Bondi, Berlin. 
Howarth, E. G. West Ham. Study in Social and Industrial 

Problems. 
Bauer, Arthur. Essai sur les Revolutions. Giard & Briere. 
Reibmayr, Dr. Albert. Die Entwicklungsgeschichte des Talentes 

una Genies. Lehmanns, Munich. 
Thomas, Northcote W. Bibliography of Anthropology and Folk- 
lore. David Nutt, 2s. net. 
Fastrez, A. Ce que PArmde peut etre pour la Nation. Travaux de 

I'Listitut de Sociologie. Misch & Thron. 
The Need of the Nations: an International Parliament. Watts 

& Co., London. 
Arnold-Forster, M.P., Rt. Hon. H. 0. English Socialism of To-day. 

Smith, Elder & Co., 2s. 6d. net. 
Bousset, Professor Wilhelm. What is Religion? Fisher Unwin, 

6s. net. 
Oman, J. Campbell. The Brahmins, Theists and Muslims of India. 

Fisher Unwin, 14s. net. 
Macrosty, H. W. The Trust Movement in British Industry. 

Longmans, Green & Co., Os. net. 
Rathgen, Prof. Dr. Earl. Staat und Eultur der Japaner. Velhagen 

& Elasing, 4 mark. 
Commons, John R. Proportional Representation. Macmillan, 5s. 

net. 
Stopes, Charlotte C. British Freewomen. Swan, Sonnenschein & 

Co., 2s. 6d. 
Eropotkin, Prince. Memoirs of a Revolutionist. Swan, Sonnen- 
schein & Co., 6s. 
Castberg, P. H. Production: a Study in Economics. Swan, 

Sonnenschein & Co., 10s. 6d. 
Pollard, A. F. Factors in Modern History. Constable & Co., 

78. 6d. net. 
Wellmann, Dr. Erich. Abstammung Beruf und Heeresersatz. 

Duncker & Humblot. 
Guyot, Yves. La Democratic Individualiste. Giard & Briere, 3 fr. 



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Ellett, Jones Ross. Malaria. Macmillan & Bowes, 2s. 6d. net. 
Jebb, Eglantyne. Cambridge: a Brief Study in Social Questions. 

Macmillan & Bowes, 4s. 6d. net. 
Chapman, Sydney J. Work and Wages. II. Wages and Employ- 
ment. Longmans, Green & Co., 10s. 6d. net. 
Howard-Flanders, William. A Thousand Years of Empire. Vol. I. 

Gay & Bird, 6s. net. 
Dowd, Jerome. The Negro Races. A Sociological Study. Vol. I,, 

The Macmillan Co. 10s. 6d. net. 
Hunt, Edmond J. The Evolution of Faith. Watts & Co., 6d. 
Barnard, J. L. Factory Legislation in Pennsylvania : its History 

and Administration. John C. Winston Co., Philadelphia. 
Thorndike, Edward L. An Introduction to the Theory of Mental 

and Social Measurements. The Science Press, New York. 
Forrest, J. Dorsey. The Development of Western Civilisation. 

University of Chicago Press. 
Morgan, Lewis H. Ancient Society. Henry Holt & Co., New York. 
Report on the National Conference on Sweated Industries. Scottish 

Council for Women's Trades, Is. 
Kidd, Benjamin. Principles of Western Civilisation. Macmillan, 

5s. net. 
Fordham, Montague. Mother Eartb. A proposal for the permanent 

reconstruction of our country life. Simpkin, Marshall & Co., 

5s. net. 
Urwick, E. J. Luxury and Waste of Life. J. M. Dent & Co., 

4s. 6d. net. 
Burrows, Herbert, & Hobson, John A. William Clarke : a Collection 

of His Writings. Swan, Sonnenschein & Co., 7s. 6d. 
Persona. A New Gospel. Privately printed. New York, 75 cts. 
Sutherland, William. Old Age Pensions : In Theory and Practice, 

with some Foreign Examples. Methuen, 3s. 6d. net. 
Hobson, John A. Tbe Problem of the Unemployed: an Enquiry 

and an Economic Policy. Metbuen, 2s. 6d. 
Money, L. G. Chiozza. Riches and Poverty. Methuen, Is. net. 
Gomme, George Laurence. Folklore as an Historical Science. 

Methuen, 7s. 6d. net. 



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ao8 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 



NOTICES. 

At the Annual General Meeting of the Sociological Society held at 24 Buckingham 
Street, Strand, on Monday, April fltth, Sir Edward Brabrook, C.B., was elected 
President of the Society for the coming year and Mr. S. H. Swinny, Chairman of 
Council. The vacancies on the Council were filled by Sir C. Lewis Tupper, K.C.I.E., 
C.S.I., Mr. P. J. Hartog, Mr. George Montagu, Mr. R. H. Tawney, and Mr. G. A. 
Touche. 

The following papers have been read at meetings of the Society during the past 
quarter : — ^Dr. Robert Hutchison on " Infant Mortality " (the second of a series on 
Medico-Sociology), January 20th; Mr. I. Gibbon on "Past and Future Developments 
of Human Societies," February 3rd; Mr. S. K. Ratcliffe on "Aspects of the Social 
Movement in India," February 17th; Dr. Albert Wilson on "Psychology of Crime," 
March 9th; Principal Jevons on "Magic," March 23rd; and Professor Graham 
Brooks on "Recent Phases of Race Contact in the United States," April 6th. 

The following meetings have been arranged for the remainder of the session : 
Sir C. Lewis Tupper, "Sociology and Comparative Polities," on Monday, May 4ih, 
and Mr. E. J. Urwick, "Sociology in Relation to Social Progress," on Monday, 
May 11th. 



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THE 

Sociological Review 

VOL. I. Na 8. JULY, 1908. 

SOCIOLOGY AND COMPARATIVE POLITICS. 

Those of us who had the good fortune to hear the inaugural 
lectures of Professors Hobhouse and Westermarck on the 17th 
December last will probably remember how wisely cautious both 
Professors were in the matter of offering definitions of Sociology. 
Professor Hobhouse indeed implied that Sociology is a science which 
has the whole social life of man as its sphere ; and Professor Wester- 
marck went so far as to say that Sociology might be regarded as the 
science of social phenomena ; but I recollect very well that Professor 
Hobhouse suggested — ^at any rate as regards any more elaborate 
definition — that there might be at least as many definitions as 
there were sociologists in the room. Later, in the Editorial with 
which the first number of our " Sociological Review " opens, 
Professor Hobhouse gave us another compact formula, namely 
that Sociology is the science of society. The social life, he 
explained, constitutes a distinct field for investigation in the 
scientific spirit. 

To such a terse formula as the science of social phenomena 
I take no exception. It is analogous to the definition of juris- 
prudence as the science of positive law. But though fully 
conscious of the difficulties and dangers of definitions — more 
especially of such as may be premature — I have found it necessary, 
for the purposes of the present paper, to attempt a somewhat 
more detailed definition — or, if you will— rdescription of Sociology. 
I have noted as very weighty the remarks of Professor L. Stein 
of the University of Berne that ** definitions do not anticipate 
sciences, but they succeed them," and that ** what Sociology is 
in need of to-day is not a definition but a programme." It is, 
however, the main object of the present paper to suggest that 
the study of Comparative Politics should be admitted as part 
of the programme of this Society. It seems, therefore, inevitable 
that I should explain with, I hope, sufficient clearness what 
meaning I attach to the term Sociology; but I hope it will be 
understood that the definition I am about to suggest is devised 



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210 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

for the purposes of this paper only and is, of course, open to 
continuous revision as the science of Sociology extends. 

Amongst the steps which I have taken to enable me to arrive 
at some conclusion which I could venture to lay before this 
Society was an examination of the three volumes of our papers 
published for 1904, 1905 and 1906. I have found there a rather 
amusing confirmation of what Professor Hobhouse told us in his 
inaugural lecture about the great diversity of opinions entertained 
as to the meaning of Sociology. In these three volumes I marked 
no less than sixty-one passages containing either a definition of 
Sociology or a description of its aim. It is true that in a few 
of these cases a writer or speaker either repeats himself or expresses 
concurrence with some one else ; but speaking generally there are 
different shades, at least, of meaning in almost every passage and 
in many cases the views expressed are widely divergent and wholly 
irreconcilable. I have attempted to group them under various 
heads but an account of this attempt is not really necessary for 
my present purpose. I will only say that the definition I would 
ask you to adopt — tentatively and for the matter in hand only — 
is derived, with certain differences, from one framed by Processor 
J. Arthur Thomson, of the University of Aberdeen, on the basis 
of the definition of biology. It is this : — Sociology is the 
scientific study of the origin, development, structure, functions, 
and decay of the ideas and institutions of mankind in successive 
stages of society. 

With the exception of those who may regard Sociology as 
the systematic elaboration of social and political ideals, I suppose 
almost every one would admit that this definition is sufficiently 
wide. It is, I think, consistent — except that it does not include 
the future as to which I shall have more to say below — with a 
description of Sociology given by Professor Hobhouse on the 
occasion of the able address by the late Dr. J. H. Bridges; and 
it seems to me quite in harmony with the official prospectus of 
this Society. 

On several points it goes beyond the definition of Professor 
Thomson. First, I include decay — noticed in our official prospectus 
— which his definition omits. Not to speak of survivals — of 
customs or institutions which outlast their purposes or are applied 
to purposes for which they were not designed, the whole course 
of history is strewn with the wrecks of republics, kingdoms and 
empires. Egypt, Babylon, Assyria, the kingdom of the Hebrews, 
Greece, great Rome herself, the empire of Charlemagne, the feudal 



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COMPARATIVE POLITICS 211 

and absolute monarchies of Western Europe, Mexico, Peru, the 
Delhi empire, the empire of Napoleon I.; with every one of these 
names is linked a fall or a decline and fall, a dissolution accom- 
plished before our day, but leaving in every case some message, 
often a most pregnant one, for the students of the evolution of 
humanity. Secondly, I have added ideas to institutions, not 
merely because every institution has its subjective side, but mainly 
because the rudiments of social growth are first discernible in 
myth no less than in custom ; in custom because it is the mother 
of all institutions ; in myth because it is the wild imaginings and 
childish guesses and tales of primitive folk which later on are 
superseded by religion and philosophy. If we omit ideas we 
omit imagination, we omit religion and philosophy themselves, we 
close our doors to the theory of a dynamic psychology of the race. 
Thirdly, I refer expressly to the successive stages of society because 
ihe doctrine of evolution — I do not mean biological evolution in 
-particular, but evolution in the widest sense of the term — seems to 
tne to be the mainspring of Sociology, and we study the progress, 
and, as I have said, the decay, of phases of society in the hope 
that in the examination of their history the laws of their evolution 
will be disclosed. 

After this somewhat elaborate explanation of a definition of 
Sociology it would be unconscionable to weary you with a definition 
of politics. I need hardly say that the politics of which I have to 
jspeak are not those of the daily press and the House of Commons. 
We have not to di^uss the Licensing and Education Bills, the 
problem of unemployment, or old age pensions, or even matters 
of foreign policy — the Anglo-Russian agreement, the treatment 
of Macedonia or the Congo State. I am far from saying that none 
of these matters have sociological aspects; the contrary is true of 
every one of them. As Professor Hobhouse, in his Editorial, 
reminded us, the muse of Sociology never ceases to murmur : 
^^ Homo sum, nihil humani alienum a me puto." But my 
^concern to-night is with the politics not of the politician but of the 
philosopher. There was no passage in Professor Hobhouse's 
singularly able and fruitful Editorial that I read with greater 
satisfaction than that in which he said that our Journal will 
.approach questions of living interest without party bias, and will 
endeavour to show that they can be approached in a scientific spirit. 
Were party to invade the discussions of this Society the first result 
would be that it would put science to flight. To what extent I may 
depart from the accepted signification of the term politics in political 



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212 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

philosophy, or — ^if you will — political science, will sufficiently appear 
as I go on. Here I will only say that I agree with Prof. Hobhouse 
in his remark made in the Editorial to which I have several times 
referred, that hitherto p>olitical philosophy closely resembles general 
philosophy in its method. The particular branch of politics with 
which I am now concerned — Comparative Politics — demands 
another method : the method of science. If we seek the guidance 
of Comparative Politics we do not enter on the direct quest of any 
ideal. We do not aim at determining the ends of civil society. 
We do not assume states of nature which never existed except in 
the imagination of philosophers and of those who accepted for a 
gospel the superstitions which they were taught ; we do not invent 
social contracts which never were and never could have been made. 
In this study ours is the humbler, but as I at least believe, more 
promising, task of investigating with laborious conscientiousness 
the actual facts of political evolution. 

The origin of Comparative Politics in one sense of the 
expression, is the same as the origin of Comparative Jurisprudence. 
In 187 1, in the first of his lectures on Village Communities in the 
East and West, Maine observed : — ** The enquiry upon which we 
are engaged can only be said to belong to Comparative Juris- 
prudence if the word * Comparative * be used as it is used in such 
expressions as * Comparative Philology ' and * Comparative 
Mythology.' We shall examine a number of parallel phenomena 
with the view of establishing, if possible, that some of them are 
related to one another in the order of historical succession. I 
think," he continued, '* I may venture to affirm that the 
Comparative Method which has already been fruitful of such 
wonderful results, is not distinguishable in some of its applications 
from the Historical Method. We take a number of contemporary 
facts, ideas, and customs," (note, please, that Maine includes ideas) 
*' and we infer the past form of those facts, ideas, and customs not 
only from historical records of that past form, but from examples 
of it which have not yet died out of the world, and are still to be 
found in it." Two and a half years later Freeman, in his valuable 
book on Comparative Politics, referring, as Maine had done, to 
Comparative Philology and Comparative Mythology, noted the 
birth of a third science, the offspring, he asserted, of the two 
earlier sciences, which applied the Comparative Method directly 
to the growth of culture itself, the object of research being the 
nature and origin of the customs, the social institutions, the religious 
ceremonies of the different nations of the earth. This third science, 



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COMPARATIVE POLITICS 2x3 

he said, still lacked a name, and he added : *^ Let us hope that a 
name may be found for it, if not — which may be hopeless — ^within 
the stores of our own mother-tongue, yet at least within the range of 
the foreign words which have been already coined. It would be a 
pity if a line of inquiry which has brought to light so much, and 
from which so much more may be looked for, should end by 
cumbering the dictionary with some fresh word of new and 
barbarous formation." It appears from a note appended to the 
text that the barbarism of which he had so acute a fear was the now 
well-known and generally accepted term Sociology. 

Freeman held that the establishment of the Comparative 
Method was the greatest achievement of his time, marking one of 
the great stages in the development of the human mind — a stage at 
least as great and memorable as the revival of Greek and Latin 
learning. He acknowledges his obligations to Max Milller, Maine, 
G. H. Waitz and — very particularly — Mr. Tylor; but I cannot find 
in his Comparative Politics any trace of acquaintance with Comte, 
Darwin, Huxley or Spenser. I agree with Freeman that there was 
an immense intellectual advance in the last half of last century — ^an 
advance which, in those subjects at least with which I am concerned 
as a member of this Society, I should say was without parallel. 
But I do not think that anyone would now single out the discovery 
or use of the Comparative Method as the preponderating impetus in 
that advance. That Method has been a part only of a more general 
process traceable from an earlier date. The new light has spread 
somewhat graduallyso that in the early seventies there was many 
a man of eminence who had not felt its glow. For my part, I 
would ascribe the dawn now perceptible in our mental sky — not 
indeed to the doctrine of evolution itself, for that was not new, but 
first to the vastly extended application of that doctrine under the 
stimulus of Darwinism, and, secondly, to the application — ^advo- 
cated already by Comte in the thirties — of the methods of science 
to the interpretation of the social and political history of mankind. 

It is not only in their origin that there is a resemblance 
between Comparative Politics and Comparative Jurisprudence. 
Many points of similarity are to be expected because the field 
of Comparative Politics, though wide enough to include outlying 
regions of primitive custom where no state has yet been formed, 
and desp>otic states possessing, in the popular sense, no constitution, 
still in what I may call its inmost ring, coincides with the field 
of constitutional law. In the term Comparative Politics I must 
distinguish three separate meanings, related to each other in 



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2X4 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

historical order, fnd all significant for the purposes of Sociology. 
Each of these distinctions is equally applicable to Comparative 
Jurisprudence, and in that science also their historical order is 
the same. When we compare the political institutions of various 
nations, races and times, what is the immediate object which we 
propose to ourselves and, in order to attain that object how do 
we limit the range of our inquiries? You will remember that 
Austin identifies Comparative Jurisprudence with general juris- 
prudence which he contrasts with merely national bodies of law 
and practically limits to a philosophy dealing with the various 
legal principles common to the ample and mature systems of 
refined, that is, of highly civilised, communities. Similarly Mr. 
Bryce says of one form of Comparative Jurisprudence that it 
has ** a palpably practical aim. It sets out by ascertaining and 
examining the rules actually in force in modern civilised countries, 
and proceeds to show by what means these rules deal with 
problems substantially the same in those countries." A very 
large part of the work of the Society of Comparative Legislation 
has the same object — the comparison of the laws of civilised 
countries at the present time. Now Comparative Politics may 
be treated in precisely the same way. In sociological discussion 
we may call this method statical. It is statical as applied to 
modern civilised communities though, of course, the statical 
method may be applied to any community or set of communities 
at any stage of development that may be selected. The application 
of this method in Comparative Politics to civilised communities 
may or may not be purely scientific. If it is purely scientific it 
p)ossesses some conspicuous advantages. The evidence which 
may be examined is extraordinarily abundant, a great deal of it 
is readily accessible; doubts can be cleared up by communication 
with the living men who know. Modern civilised countries alone 
have reached what is as yet the last chapter in the natural history 
of mankind; and we may reasonably turn to them if we desire 
light on the actual or probable contents of the preceding pages. 
Those communities which have passed through the greatest 
number of stages, including the latest stages, in the long journey 
from savagery through barbarism to civilisation will assuredly 
still bear in their living frames many survivals of their past. 
Moreover their records will be found to state the essential problem 
of Sociology which is. How did the modern institutions of our 
time and civilisation come to be what they are ? The examination 
of modern societies with excursions, I admit, into historical 



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COMPARATIVE POLITICS 215 

research, has much scientific value ; but it is most difficult to keep 
such an inquiry within the bounds of science. To say nothing 
of the bias which is almost inseparable from the estimate of any 
current facts, there is naturally a nearly irrepressible eagerness to 
seize upon the results of such an inquiry for philosophical, 
ethical and practical purposes and to make the immediate purpose 
not to discover facts, and to settle their classification and causes and 
relation to evolutionary processes, but, by the elaboration of general 
theories, new or old, or even by direct imitation, to improve our 
own political institutions or those of our neighbours or those of 
the world at large. 

The other two forms of Comparative Politics of which I wish to 
speak may both be described as dynamic, but one of them is 
primarily limited to the affiliation of institutions, while the other, 
though it does not neglect affiliation, has a far wider horizon 
embracing not only political institutions which are derived by what 
I may call direct descent from rudiments common to the group, but 
all the political institutions of mankind whatever their origin, 
whatever the course of their development. As in biology we may 
examine the growth of a particular species or, on the examination 
of many species, arrive at biological laws, so one dynamic form of 
Comparative Politics investigates the political institutions of a 
group of races, say the Greeks, the Romans and the Teutons, while 
the other dynamic form, restricted in its operation only by the 
amount and character of the evidence available, searches alike in 
the historic and the prehistoric record and in the facts of modern 
life for indications of those laws of growth which, if we are right 
in holding that human society is no exception in the system of 
nature, must, with the advance of science, become more and more 
clearly discernible as the laws originating, transforming and com- 
pleting throughout the ages the mass of political phenomena at 
large. 

I have referred to these three forms of Comparative Politics, the 
statical limited to civilised communities, the first dynamic or 
affiliative form, and the second dynamic or purely evolutionary 
form, in order to remind you in a summary way of the contents 
and range of the science. But it would be inconsistent with past 
practice, and, much worse than that, a piece of useless pedantry, 
to insist on the rigid separation of these forms or methods in the 
practical work of investigation. Take, for instance, such a book 
as that of Professor John W. Burgess, of Columbia College, on 
Political Science and Comparative Constitutional Law. On the 



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2i6 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

whole, it is an illustration of the statical method limited in the way 
I have described. In treating Comparative Constitutional Law he 
selects the constitutions of Great Britain, the United States, 
Germany and France, and limits himself to these, and includes in 
his reasons for this course that these are the most important States 
in the world and that their constitutions represent substantially all 
the species of constitutions which have as yet been developed. His 
aim is an ethical one — to lay down principles of public law ; and — 
quite unscientifically, though not necessarily unphilosophically — 
he excludes the less perfect systems, disregards the less important 
States, and passes by those which, in his opinion, are not typical. 
Nevertheless, his examination of the several constitutions to which 
he confines his book is largely historical ; and this for the obvious 
reason that it is practically impossible to give an intelligible 
account of the present condition of such complex organisations 
as the constitutions of great countries without some reference to 
their past. 

The well-known work of Bluntschli — The Theory of the State — 
marks the transition — in his case, I think, an unconscious transition 
— between the old political philosophy — very justly described by 
Professor Hobhouse as one of the roots of Sociology — and 
Comparative Politics in the scientific sense of the term. Bluntschli 
regards Political Science as the science of the conditions, nature 
and development of the State. But what is the State ? Compara- 
tive Politics considered as a branch of Sociology, is concerned not 
with any ideal conception of the State, but with the political 
institutions of all times and races upon which the searchlight of 
modern inquiry can be brought to bear. Bluntschli says that 
General Political Science rests upon a universal conception of the 
State : but he adds on the very next page '* Universal history shews 
us the different stages of development which mankind has lived 
through since its infancy; each stage has its own peculiar views 
of the State, its own political formation." True indeed; but if 
this is true, where is the universal conception of the State ? The 
Comparative method, he tells us, considers the most important states 
alongside of one another. He marks off the periods and races 
which are, in his opinion, significant — ^the Greeks and Romans in 
antiquity, the Teutons in the Middle Ages, the English, French 
and Prussians in modern times, — ^and then observes ** General 
Political Science has thus to do with the common political con- 
sciousness of civilised mankind at the present time, and the funda- 
mental ideas and essentially common institutions which appear in 



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COMPARATIVE POLITICS 217 

various ways in diflferent states." Evidently we have here a close 
analogy to — almost an identity with Austin's conception of Com- 
parative Jurisprudence. Later on Bluntschli strikes a deeper note. 
** The actual State," he affirms, **is that in which we live and work. 
Political Science has to do with that alone, and such a State is to 
be completely explained from a consideration of human nature." 
Comparative Politics as a branch of Sociology certainly is not 
limited to modern states ; but one method — ^and an important one — 
of verifying sociological conclusions is to prove their consistency 
with a true psychology. 

There is much in the writings of Burgess and Bluntschli 
which leads me to say that, consciously or unconsciously, they 
are Platonists. They seem to be a search of an ideal political 
system which has never yet existed on this earth but which is 
discoverable — perhaps in nubibus or in gremio philosophorum. 
They dififer from Plato and submit to the influence of modern ideas 
in their method of search. They collate and compare all that 
seems best or seems inevitable in certain existing systems. I have 
pointed out that Burgess cannot dispense with history. The 
same is true of Bluntschli. When he comes to discuss the forms 
of the State he is naturally led on to indicate the general character 
of their development. He traces monarchy — not it will be noted 
in Africa or in the East — ^but in Homeric Greece and Ancient 
Rome, in the forests of the Germany of Tacitus, in the Roman 
Empire, in the Prankish and Feudal States, in the absolutisms of 
France and Spain and the threatened but averted absolutism of 
England, and in the rise and spread of its constitutional form over 
nearly the whole of Europe. He deals similarly with aristo- 
cracy — or to be more accurate nobility — in ancient and modern 
times, as also with democratic forms of the State. Generally it 
may be said that he presents a sketch of political development in 
Western civilisation ; and to this part of his work at least Sociology 
may lay claim. 

If Bluntschli is in transition. Freeman — so far as I am aware — 
was the first English writer to use the term Comparative Politics 
in a sense in which Sociology would desire to annex it. His imme- 
diate aim was strictly scientific. *Tor our present purpose," he said, 
'*we must throw ourselves into a state of mind to which political 
constitutions seem as absolutely colourless as grammatical forms — 
a state of mind to which the change from monarchy to democracy 
or from democracy to monarchy seems as little a matter of moral 
praise or blame as the process by which the Latin language 



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2X8 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

changed into the French or the process by which the High German 
parted off from the Low. For the purposes then of the study of 
Comparative Politics, a political constitution is a specimen to be 
studied, classified, and labelled, as a building or an animal is 
studied, classified, and labelled by those to whom buildings or 
animals are objects of study." Of course, when we consider the 
great part often taken by conspicuous men in effecting changes of 
political institutions, it is impossible to eliminate moral factors: 
but here we leave the domain of science for that of history. For 
scientific as distinguished from historical inquiry the mental atti- 
tude described by Freeman appears to me to be correct. But he 
at once proceeds to limit the range of the Comparative Method in 
precisely the same way in which it was limited by Maine in his 
well-known controversy with the McLennans on the subject of the 
Patriarchal Theory. Freeman distinguishes likenesses between 
any two political institutions as they may result from direct trans- 
mission — such as often occurs in the case of conquered provinces 
or of colonies — from simple imitation, from similar causes produc- 
ing similar effects, or from derivation from a common source. It 
is with this last class of likenesses only that, according to his 
view, the study of Comparative Politics is concerned. He accepts 
the theory, taken mainly from the science of language, that the 
now parted nations once formed one nation, and holds that at 
the dispersion each band took with it not only a common 
tongue, a common mythology, a common store of the arts of life 
but also certain principles and traditions of political life common 
to the whole family. These offshoots of a common stock, and 
these alone are the object of Comparative Politics as he expounds 
the matter : likenesses not due to derivation from a common source 
he almost entirely disregards. He does not question — indeed he 
actually asserts — the strong probability that "much that is common 
to the various branches of the Aryan family comes from sources 
common to the Aryans along with other divisions of mankind." 
But he confines himself in the ancient world to Greeks and Romans, 
and in the ancient, mediaeval and modern worlds to Teutons, leav- 
ing wider inquiries to others, and contented to be sure of his 
footing on his own ground. He deals with the State itself, the 
head of the State, the King, and its body, the Assembly; and 
finds in Hellenic, Italian and Teutonic antiquity alike, the germs 
alike of the monarchic, the aristocratic, and the democratic princi- 
ples of government. Everywhere he puts the tribe before civic 
or national institutions; he contrasts the Hellenic and Italian 



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COMPARATIVE POLITICS 2x9 

conception of the State as a city with the modern conception of a 
national State and asserts broadly that "the Teutons passed from 
the tribal stage into the national stage without ever going through 
the city stage at all." He traces the idea of kingship from the 
Homeric king, Zeus-born and Zeus nourished, down to the consti- 
tutional monarchies of modern times. He distinguishes between 
primary and representative assemblies and in primary assemblies 
finds everywhere a general assembly of the people, a smaller 
council of hereditary nobles, of elders serving for life, or of magis- 
trates or senators clothed with temporary authority. He recog- 
nises of course the comparatively modern device of representation, 
and contends that the functions of legislator, judge, juror and 
witness, now so distinct, were originally intermingled, and that all 
grew out of the Assembly, which being itself the people exercised 
every kind of political power. 

I do not think it is to be regretted that Freeman limited himself 
to the affiliation of institutions. At the time when he wrote the 
idea of evolution had not been widely recognised as sweeping over 
a far greater range than the idea of derivation. Nor had the 
anthrop>ological data been then collected and collated in their 
present abundance, enabling us to move in every direction far 
beyond the centre of Western civilisation, even although from that 
civilisation light beams wherever else we may be led by the spirit 
of reason and inquiry. There is this great advantage in the study 
of Greek, Roman and Teuton institutions that we are at any rate on 
historical ground, and on ground thoroughly explored by genera- 
tions of able scholars. The value under modern conditions of 
classical education is no part of my present theme ; but even if we 
are to suppose that a mediaeval system has now outlasted its 
original purposes, it is at all events a most important and sociolo- 
gically a most valuable result of its survival that the labours of 
scholars have kept alive, as part of our common intellectual heri- 
tage, a vivid and lasting memory of the only two civilisations which 
have ever existed that are really comparable with our own. It is 
as a starting point that such a work as Freeman's helps us in Socio- 
logy. The affiliation of institutions traced by a competent scholar 
in one part of the world suggests numerous points for evolutionary 
inquiry and its results based upon sound, if not all-embracing, 
historical investigation may serve as a standard with which to com- 
pare conclusions already suggested or to be suggested by the 
examination of further evidence. 

Passing now from Freeman to Herbert Spencer, who, whatever 



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220 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

view may be held of him as a metaphysician, was certainly a great 
ap>ostle of evolution, we are no longer concerned with the fortunes 
of a p>art only of one great race in one continent ; we are called to 
the survey of all races in all continents, indeed in all parts of the 
globe. 

Both with Freeman and with Spencer we are in a climate of 
science. Spencer is as emphatic as Freeman in insisting on a 
scientific medium for our vision. In pursuing sociological inquiries 
into political institutions ** we must," he says, ** as much as 
possible, exclude whatever emotions the facts are calculated to 
excite, and attend solely to the interpretation of the facts." In 
this pursuit he is untrammelled by the limits of time or space or race 
voluntarily accepted by others whom I have mentioned. He does 
not confine himself to mature political systems; he does not deal 
with Aryan institutions either alone or primarily. A characteristic 
illustration of his method may be taken from his account of the 
militant type of society. He expounds certain conditions, manifestly 
d priori, which ** have to be fulfilled by a society fitted for preserv- 
ing itself in presence of antagonist societies." Then he goes on to 
say **on inspecting sundry societies, past and present, large and 
small, which are, or have been, characterized in a high degree by 
militancy, we are shewn, a posteriori, that amid the differences due 
to race, to circumstances, and to degrees of development, there are 
fundamental similarities of the kinds above inferred d priori." And 
in exemplification he instances modern Dahomey, Russia, ancient 
Peru, Egypt, Sparta, imperial Rome, imperial Germany, and — ^as 
he puts it — England itself ** since its late aggressive activities." 

I am afraid that Herbert Spencer, when on his favourite theme 
of the contrast between industrial and military societies, does not 
always maintain that scientific detachment of mind which he 
regards as essential to the right interpretation of political pheno- 
mena. At any rate his description of the industrial type of society 
seems open to the criticisms that it is a description of a state of 
society which has never yet existed and appears unlikely to come 
into existence in the near future; and that it omits to note that 
predatory instincts are not destroyed by the discovery of new 
methods of depredation, and that gambling, and commercial 
speculation, nay, even certain forms of commerce itself may be as 
ruthlessly callous to social and domestic misery as ever the military 
spirit was to mutilation and slaughter. 

At the end of his discussion of political institutions Herbert 
Spencer goes even further and abandoning science for guesswork 



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COMPARATIVE POLITICS 221 

asks ** through what phases political evolution is likely hereafter to 
pass." I mention his admiration for industrialism with its 
implication of the political doctrine of laissez faire, because it 
appears to me to disclose a bias which colours a great deal of his 
political philosophy. There are other difficulties, both general 
and special, in estimating the true value of that philosophy. A 
general difficulty is the deductive character of his system as a 
whole, supplemented though it be by inductive illustrations. The 
doubt frequently occurs whether induction has been carried far 
enough The special difficulties are explained by Herbert Spencer 
himself. He was not able to spare more than two years for the 
investigation of political organisations generally. The task would 
need a lifetime and he felt that his results would be imperfect. But 
he found himself compelled to deal with political evolution as part 
of the general theory of evolution ; and hoped for justification from 
the stability of his leading conclusions after inevitable errors had 
been knocked away. He utilised, in addition to other materials, 
those gathered during fourteen years in the Descriptive Sociology 
compiled by his assistants; so that, besides other doubts, when we 
come across a seemingly dogmatic assertion with nothing better 
than d priori support, there is the uncertainty whether, after all, 
sufficient proof may not be buried somewhere or other in the pon- 
derous tomes of the Descriptive Sociology. 

Apart from the theory, on which I have already touched, that 
industrialism tends to supplant militarism, the leading conclusions 
are that primarily political development is a process 6f integration, 
and that as small, incoherent, social aggregates gain in mass, 
become integrated and pass from uniformity to multiformity, 
political organisation becomes more and more defined. The 
biological analogy, which Herbert Spencer presses so far in the 
portion of his work which he entitles ** Inductions of Sociology," 
thus remains supreme ; as indeed was necessary ; for the transforma- 
tion from homogenity to heterogeneity, with certain accompany- 
ing consequences, is the dominant principle in the Spencerian 
philosophy. 

Nowadays it might perhaps be said that it is superfluous to 
take trouble to prove such obvious facts as those of political integ- 
ration and differentiation. The wandering bands supported by 
the chase, the shepherds and herdsmen moving over wide pastures, 
the tribes settled down in village communities to till the soil, the 
villages coalescing to form cities, and the tribes being gradually 
transformed into nations or states, — the stuff that great Empires or 



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222 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

federations are made of — ^all this is matter of common knowledge ; 
so too are the formation of castes, and guilds, the classification of 
society into ruling houses, nobility, freemen, serfs or other depen- 
dants, and in ancient times, slaves, or later into royal families, 
nobles, citizens or the middle classes, and the people or the prole- 
tariate, the severance of legislative, judicial and executive functions, 
and of the official bodies which exercise them. If some such 
description of political integration and differentiation were now 
to be regarded as almost too trite to need justification, it must be 
remembered that in making it I have only very partially followed 
Spencer, though I have, I believe, adhered to his leading conclu- 
sions; that in the past forty years the spread of Darwinism and the 
integration of Germany and Italy have strongly emphasised the 
biological analogy; and that Spencerian ideas, more or less 
amalgamated with other metal, have long been part of the current 
coin of periodical literature. Even it be granted that political 
integration and differentiation were before Spencer's day already 
patent to some historical observers Spencer deserves the credit of 
showing their connection with the general theory of evolution as 
he stated it. 

It is no part of my present intention to offer a criticism of 
Spencer's political philosophy. I have alluded to him merely in 
illustration of the evolutionary aspect of comparative politics. But 
I may p>erhaps be permitted to offer an illustration, not by way of 
criticism, but by way of confirmation of the view that specialisation 
of function is a concomitant of political progress. So far as I can 
recall a mental process which occurred now some thirty years ago, 
the extremely rapid severance between different government depart- 
ments in India generally and more particularly in my own Province, 
the Punjab, — a severance which I then took, as I take it now, to be 
covered by Spencer's formula — ^was one of the chief circumstances 
which induced me to say in a law-book, which I wrote about that 
time, that **the doctrine of evolution has overstepped the domain of 
merely physical science, and has asserted its authority, not only in 
the realm of law, but in the whole territory of social existence." 
In the Punjab political differentiation has been quite strikingly 
exhibited. After the second Sikh' war the government of the 
country was entrusted to a Board of Administration consisting of 
Henry Lawrence, John Lawrence, and Mr. Mansel. Lord 
Dalhousie's despatch constituting the Board declared that ** every 
civil functunary from the Board to the Kardar" — the Kardar was 
the Sikh local official whose place has been taken by the Tahsildar 



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COMPARATIVE POLITICS 223 

or sub-collector — ** will be vested with judicial, fiscal, and magis- 
terial powers." When I came to the Punjab in 187 1 patriarchal 
rule was already on the wane, the Board had been severed into a 
Lieutenant Governor, a chief court then of three, now of five judges, 
and a so-called Financial Commissioner who was really the 
Revenue minister for the Province. The District Officer was not 
so much of a king in his own district as he had been some years 
before : and he now sometimes complains that he is the servant not 
only of the Local Government, as no doubt he should be, but of 
some fifteen separate Government Departments. This multipli- 
cation of official functionaries is called the growth of department- 
alism. Observe that I do not say whether it is a good thing or a 
bad thing. I merely note its consistency with the laws of political 
development. 

I mentioned early in this paper that my main object this evening 
was to suggest that Comparative Politics should be admitted as 
part of the programme of our Society. I have put forward a 
tentative definition of Sociology — subject to amendment with the 
advance of the science — and I have described at some length the 
science of Comparative Politics, as I understand it, in its statical, 
affiliative and evolutionary aspects. The tentative definition 
includes the scientific study of the institutions of mankind in 
successive stages of society. I hope that by putting the definition 
and the description together I may have succeeded in my aim; 
and may have convinced you that the scientific examination of 
political evolution on the basis of ascertained facts ought to be one 
of the objects of Sociology. 

I must, however, add the caution that we must avoid over- 
sanguine anticipations of the results to be obtained by the applica- 
tion of the Comparative Method in politics. We may indicate 
broadly successive stages of political growth — tribal, prae-feudal, 
feudal, monarchic, constitutional, democratic — but the process of 
evolution itself is not perfect, and we must not allow ourselves to 
suppose that every society has necessarily in the past gone through 
every stage which, on a generalised survey of political evolution 
as a whole, would be regarded as earlier than the stage in which 
we find it. More easily could we maintain the converse proposi- 
tion that every mature society has, in its progress, at one time or 
another, overleapt some recognised stage.* But it is a great gain if 

*The passage in the text was suggested by the following excellent remarks of 
Sir Frederick Pollock and the late Professor F. W. Maitland. They are copied from 
Sir Frederick Pollock's Commentary on Maine*s Ancient Law, pp. 22 and 178. 



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224 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

Sir Frederick Pollock writes : " We constantly speak of one mle or custom as 
belonging to a more advanced stage of ideas than another; but this does not mean 
that in every society where it is found it must have heean preceded in fact by a less 
advanced institution belonging to the next lower grade of culture. Imitation of 
neighbours or conquerors, or peculiar local conditions may materially shorten a given 
stage in the nomul development or even cut it out altogether. What we do mean is 
that the order is not found reversed. Chalk is not everywhere in England, nor red 
sandstone ; but where red sandstone is we know that chalk is not below it. Iron vras 
known in Africa so early that Africa may be said not to have had a bronze age ; but 
this does not make it more credible that any tribe should ever have abandoned iron 
for bronze. In like manner there may have been tribes that had law-givers almost 
or quite as soon as they had judges. But no one has heard of a nation which, having 
acquired a body of legislation, reverted to customary law." 

Professor Maitland said : " Even had our anthropologists at their command 
material that would justify them in prescribing a normal programme for the human 
race, and in decreeing that every independent portion of mankind must, if it is to 
move at all, move through one fated series of stages, which may be designated as 
Stage A, Stage B, Stage C, and so forth, we should still have to face the fact that 
the rapidly progressive groups have been just those which have not been independent, 
which have not worked out their own salvation, but have appropriated alien ideas, 
and have thus been enabled, for anything that we can tell, to leap from Stage A to 
Stage X without passing through any intermediate stages. Our Anglo-Saxon ancestors 
did not arrive at the alphabet, or at the Nioene Greed, by traversing a long series 
of stages; they leapt to the one and to the other." — Domesday Book and Beyond^ 
p. 345. 



we know for certain that particular stages are earlier than others, 
and if we give that knowledge practical effect. With societies, as 
with individuals, mental progress — and therefore the progress of 
institutions corresponding to ideas — ^proceeds at extraordinarily differ- 
ent rates of speed. Not only do direct transmission and imitation 
transform normal growth but like conditions leading to like func- 
tions are found at very different stages of culture. The concep- 
tion, however, of a normal political growth, which must be 
carefully handled if the results are not to be noxious and dangerous, 
has a deep political importance in such an Empire as ours, com- 
prising, as it does, races in very various stages — perhaps in every 
stage — of political development. In prop)ortion as we grasp and 
apply the principles to be gathered from Comparative Politics we 
shall be likely to avoid the perilous anachronism of imposing on 
the less advanced societies political institutions for which they are 
not prepared. 

That is at least one ethical and p)olitical consequence which 
may follow from the study advocated ; and there may be others. 
I have dwelt on the necessity of treating Comparative Politics in a 



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COMPARATIVE POLITICS 225 

purely scientific spirit but I would guard against the possible mis- 
apprehension that the study, as I conceive of it, is without ethical 
import. As with the whole field of Sociology so also is it with this 
part of it. Scientific inquiry, as such, has no practical aim; it 
seeks truth and truth alone ; but its practical results are enormous. 
Faith in Sociology means faith in scientific method, and I have 
faith in the application of scientific methods to politics. Whatever 
we may discover to have been the tendencies of the past, whatever 
we may suppose to be the tendencies of the present, we are the lords 
and masters, not the slaves, of the laws of nature. To know them 
aright is to be able to command them ; and it is here that we see 
the ethical import of scientific political inquiries. Your ideal may 
be monarchical, aristocratic, democratic, what you will, but science 
declares that you must measure your ideal against facts ; and, for 
any practical and lasting realisations, must utilise the laws which it 
points out: unless indeed by ignoring those laws you bring on 
greater mischief where you seek amelioration. In politics, as in 
our relations with physical nature, suffering is the penalty of ignor- 
ance. 

We must admit, of course, that the moral and political world 
does not stand still. Unceasing change is one of the laws not 
merely of organic evolution but of the universe. The earth did not 
pause upon its axis or in its course around the sun while Newton 
was identifying terrestrial and celestial mechanics. We cannot put 
off dealing with the evils of the day until we have before us the 
scientific conclusions of Sociology. The dangers of vicious 
systems of education, of poverty rebelling against its miseries, of 
class interests driven to fierce rivalry by the desire or possession of 
wealth, of crushing monopolies, of armaments designed for the 
slaughter of thousands of men in the prime of life by war between 
civilised countries, — these must be faced with the* time-worn 
weapons of d priori doctrines and empirical conclusions drawn from 
statistics and imperfect observation of current affairs; and also — 
not to overstate the case — from the consolidated experience of social 
and political necessities which is part of the social heritage of civili- 
sation. But granting that this experience, amassed but not yet 
fully organised, is, in some degree, a means of deliverance, is it too 
much to hope that at last, after groping our way with many stum- 
blings through the blindness and the darkness of the ages, we 
perceive, I will not say daylight but the far-off glimmer of a dawn 
promising an eventual illumination to enable us to see, with some 
approach to certitude, what are the true lines of advance ? And if 



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y 

226 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

these true lines can be ascertained will it not be the duty of our- 
selves or of posterity to make them practically serviceable by the 
conversion and use of popular sentiment — the strongest force in 
the world, a force stronger than ironclads or rei>eating rifles or 
machine guns because it is ultimately that force itself which forbids 
or commands, ratifies or reprobates their use for destruction and 
massacre ? I for one will not abandon the hope to which I have 
referred until it is conclusively demonstrated that Sociology is 
merely one more of the mind-begotten phantoms which have 
deluded philosophers and misled the crowd. Until that demonstra- 
tion is forced upon me I shall continue to believe that the applica- 
tion of scientific methods to the interpretation of social and political 
facts will increase the strength of humanity in its unceasing contest 
with the giant evils which oppress mankind. 

C. L. TUPPER. 



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HERD INSTINCT 227 



HERD INSTINCT AND ITS BEARING ON THE 
PSYCHOLOGY OF CIVILISED MAN. 

I. Introduction. 

Few subjects have led to discussion so animated and prolonged 
as has the definition of the science of sociology. It is therefore 
necessary, as it is hoped that this essay may be capable of socio- 
logical applications, that the writer should define the sense in 
which he uses the term. By calling it a science is of course denoted 
the view that sociology is a body of knowledge derived from 
experience of its material and coordinated so that it shall be useful 
in forecasting and, if possible, directing the future behaviour of 
that material. This material is man in society or associated man. 

Sociology, therefore, is obviously but another name for 
psychology in the widest sense, for, that is to say, a psychology 
which can include all the phenomena of the mind without the 
exception even of the most complex, and is essentially practical 
in a fuller sense than any orthodox psychology which has yet 
appeared. 

Sociology has, of course, often been described as social 
psychology and has been regarded as differing from ordinary 
psychology in being concerned with those forms of mental activity 
which man displays in his social relations, the assumption being 
made that society brings to light a special series of mental apti- 
tudes with which ordinary psychology, dealing as it does essen- 
tially with the individual, is not mainly concerned. It may be 
stated at once that it is a principal thesis of this essay that this 
attitude is a fallacious one and has been responsible for the 
comparative sterility of the psychological method in sociology. 
The two fields — the social and the individual — are regarded here 
as absolutely continuous; all human psychology it is contended 
must be the psychology of associated man since man as a solitary 
animal is unknown to us, and every individual must present the 
characteristic reactions of the social animal if such exist. The 
only difference between the two branches of the science lies in the 
fact that ordinary psychology makes no claim to be practical in 
the sense of conferring useful foresight; whereas sociology does 
profess to deal with the complex unsimplified problems of ordinary 
life, ordinary life being by a biological necessity social life. If, 



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228 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

therefore, sociology is to be defined as psychology it would be 
better to call it practical or applied psychology than social psy- 
chology. 

The first effect of the complete acceptance of this point of view 
is to render very obvious the difficulty and immensity of the task 
of sociology ; indeed the possibliity of such a science is sometimes 
denied. For example at an early meeting of the Sociological 
Society Professor Karl Pearson expressed the opinion that the 
birth of a science of sociology must await the obstetrical genius 
of some one man of the calibre of Darwin or Pasteur. At a later 
meeting Mr. H. G. Wells went further and maintained that as a 
science sociology not only does not but cannot exist. 

Such scepticism appears in general to be based upon the idea 
that a practical psychology in the sense already defined is impos- 
sible. According to some this is because the human will intro- 
duces into conduct an element necessarily incommensurable, 
which will always render the behaviour of man subject to the 
occurrence of true variety and therefore beyond the reach of 
scientific generalisation; according to another and a more deter- 
ministic school, human conduct while not theoretically liable to true 
variety in the philosophic sense or to the intrusion of the will as a 
first cause, is in fact so complex that no reduction of it to a 
complete system of generalisations will be possible until science in 
general has made very great progress beyond its present position. 
Both views lead in practice to attitudes of equal pessimism towards 
sociology. 

The observable complexity of human conduct is, undoubtedly, 
very great and discouraging. The problem of generalising from 
it presents however one important peculiarity which is not very 
evident at first sight. It is that as observers we are constantly 
pursued by man's own account of his behaviour; that of a given 
act our observation is always more or less mixed with a knowledge, 
derived from our own feelings, of how it seems to the author of 
the act, and it is much more difficult than is often supposed to- 
disentangle and allow for the influence of this factor. Each of us 
has the strongest conviction that his conduct and beliefs are funda- 
mentally individual and reasonable and in essence independent of 
external causation, and each is ready to furnish a series of expla- 
nations of his conduct consistent with these principles. These 
explanations, moreover, are the ones which will occur spontane- 
ously to the observer watching the conduct of his fellows. 

It IS suggested here that the sense of the unimaginable 



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HERD INSTINCT 229 

complexity and variability of human affairs is derived less than is 
generally supposed from direct observation and more from this 
second factor of introspectual interpretation which may be called 
a kind of anthropomorphism. A reaction against this in human 
psychology is no less necessary therefore than was in comparative 
psychology the similar movement the extremer developments of 
which are associated with the names of Bethe, Beer, Uexkiill and 
Nuel. It is contended that it is this anthropomorphism in the 
general attitude of psychologists, which, by disguising the 
observable uniformities of human conduct has rendered so slow 
the establishment of a really practical psychology. Little as the 
subject has been studied from the point of view of a thorough- 
going objectivism, yet even now certain generalisations summar- 
ising some of the ranges of human belief and conduct might 
already be formulated. Such an enquiry, however, is not the 
purpose of this essay and these considerations have been advanced, 
in the first place, to suggest that theory indicates that the problem 
of sociology is not so hopelessly difficult as it at first appears, 
and secondly, as a justification for an examination of certain 
aspects of human conduct by the deductive method. The writer 
would contend that while that method is admittedly dangerous 
when used as a substitute for a kind of investigation in which 
deductive processes are reduced to a minimum, yet it has its 
special field of usefulness in cases where the significance of 
previously accumulated facts has been misinterpreted, or where 
the exacter methods have proved unavailing through the investi- 
gator having been without indications of precisely what facts 
were likely to be the most fruitful subject for measurement. This 
essay, then, will be an attempt to obtain by a deductive considera- 
tion of conduct some guidance for the application of those methods 
of measurement and co-ordination of facts upon which all true 
science is based. 

A very little consideration of the problem of conduct makes it 
plain that it is in the region of feeling, using the term in its 
broadest sense, that the key is to be sought. Feeling has relations 
to instinct as obvious and fundamental as are the analogies 
between intellectual processes and reflex action; it is with the 
consideration of instinct, therefore, that this paper must now be 
occupied. 

II. Psychological Aspects of Instinct. 

Many years ago in a famous chapter of his Text Book of 
Psychology, William James analysed and established with a quite 



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230 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

final delicacy and precision the way in which instinct appears 
to introspection. He shewed that the impulse of an instinct 
reveals itself as an axiomatically obvious proposition, as something 
which is so clearly ** sense " that any idea of discussing its 
basis is foolish or wicked.* 

When we recognise that decisions due to instinct come into 
the mind in a form so characteristic and easily identifiable we 
are encouraged at once to ask whether all decisions having this 
form must be looked upon as essentially of instinctive origin. 
Enquiry, however, reveals the fact that the bulk of opinion based 
upon assumptions having these introspectual characters is so vast 
that any answer but a negative one would seem totally incom- 
patible with current conceptions of the nature of human thought, t 

Many attempts have been made to explain the behaviour of 
man as dictated by instinct. He is in fact moved by the prompt- 
ings of such obvious instincts as self-preservation, nutrition and 
sex enough to render the enterprise hopeful and its early spoils 
enticing. So much can so easily be generalised under these three 
impulses that the temptation to declare that all human behaviour 
could be resumed under them was irresistible. These early 
triumphs of materialism soon however began to be troubled by 

* " Not one man in a billion, when taking his dinner, ever thinks of utility. He 
eats because the food tastes good and makes him want more. If you ask him why 
he should want to eat more of what tastes like that, instead of revering you as a 
philosopher he will probably laugh at you for a fool. The connexion between the 
savoury sensation and the act it awakens is for him absolute and aelbatverstOndlich, 
an *a priori synthesis' of the most perfect sort needing no proof but its own 
evidence. ... To the metaphysician alone can such questions occur as : Why do we 
smile, when pleased, and not scowl? Why are we unable to talk to a crowd as to a 
single friend? Why does a particular maiden turn our wits so upside down? llie 
common man can only say, " Of course we smile, of course our heart palpitates at 
the sight of the crowd, of course we love the maiden, that beautiful soul clad in that 
perfect form, so palpably and flagrantly made from all eternity to be loved." — 
W. James, "Principles of Psychology," vol. xi, p. 386. The chapter was first 
impulses of instinct. 

t This introspectual quality of the "a priori synthesis of the most perfect sort " is 
found, for example, in the assumptions upon which is based the bulk of opinion in 
matters of church and state, the family, justice, probity, honour, purity, crime and 
so forth. Yet clearly we cannot say that there is a specific instinct concerned with 
each of these subjects, for that, to say the least, would be to postulate an un- 
imaginable multiplicity of instincts, for the most part wholly without any 
conceivable biological usefulness. For example, there are considerable difficulties 
in imagining an instinct for making people Wesleyans or Roman Catholics, 
or an instinct for making people regard British family life as the highest 
product of civilisation, yet there can be no question that these positions are based 
upon assumptions having all the characters described by James as belonging to the 
impulses of instinct. 



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HERD INSTINCT 231 

doubt. Man, in spite of his obvious duty to the contrary, would 
continue so often not to preserve himself, not to nourish himself 
and to prove resistant to the blandishments of sex, that the attempt 
to squeeze his behaviour into these three categories began to 
involve an increasingly obvious and finally intolerable amount of 
pushing and pulling, as well as so much pretence that he was 
altogether * in,' when, quite plainly, so large a part of him 
remained * out,' that the enterprise had to be given up and it was 
once more discovered that man escaped and must always escape 
any complete generalisation by science. 

A more obvious inference would have been that there was 
some other instinct which had not been taken into account, some 
impulse, perhaps, which would have no very evident object as 
regarded the individual but would chiefly appear as modifying 
the other instincts and leading to new combinations in which the 
primitive instinctive impulse was unrecognisable as such. A 
mechanism such as this very evidently would produce a series of 
actions in which uniformity might be very difficult to recognise 
by direct observation, but in which it would be very obvious if 
the characters of this unknown * x ' were available. 

Now it is a striking fact that amongst animals there are 
some whose conduct can be generalised very readily in the cate- 
gories of self-preservation, nutrition and sex, while there are 
others whose conduct cannot be thus summarised. The behaviour 
of the tiger and the cat is simple, and easily comprehensible, 
presenting no unassimilable anomalies, whereas that of the dog 
with his conscience, his humour, his terror of loneliness, his 
capacity for devotion to a brutal master, or that of the bee with 
her selfless devotion to the hive furnishes phenomena which no 
sophistry can assimilate without the aid of a fourth instinct. But 
little examination will shew that the animals whose conduct it is 
difficult to generalise under the three primitive instinctive cate- 
gories are gregarious. If then it can be shewn that gregariousness 
is of a biological significance approaching in importance that of 
the other instincts we may expect to find in it the source of these 
anomalies of conduct, and if we can also shew that man is 
gregarious we may look to it for the definition of the unknown 
* X ' which might account for the complexity of human behaviour. 

III. Biological Significance of Gregariousness. 

The animal kingdom presents two relatively sudden and very 
striking advances in complexity and in the size of the unit upon 



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232 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

which natural selection acts unmodified. These advances consist 
in the aggregation of units which were previously independent 
and exposed to the full normal action of natural selection, and 
the two instances are, of course, the passage from the unicellular 
to the multicellular and from the solitary to the social. 

It is obvious that in the multicellular organism individual cells 
lose some of the capacities of the unicellular — reproductive capacity 
is regulated and limited, nutrition is no longer possible in the 
old simple way and response to stimuli comes only in certain 
channels. In return for these sacrifices we may say, metaphori- 
cally, that the action of natural selection is withdrawn from within 
the commune. Unfitness of a given cell or group of cells can 
only be eliminated through its effect upon the whole organism. 
The latter is less sensitive to the vagaries of a single cell than is 
the organism of which the single cell is the whole. It would 
seem, therefore, that there is now allowed a greater range of 
variability for the individual cells, and perhaps, therefore, an 
increased richness of the material to be selected from. Variations, 
moreover, ^ which were not immediately favourable, would now 
have a chance of surviving. 

Looked at in this way multicellularity presents itself as an 
escape from the rigour of natural selection which for the unicellular 
organism had narrowed comi>etition to so desperate a struggle that 
any variation outside the straitest limits was fatal, for even 
though it might be favourable in one respect it would, in so 
small a kingdom, involve a loss in another. The only way, 
therefore, for further advantageous elaboration to occur was by 
the enlargement of the competing unit. Various species of 
multicellular organisms might in time be supposed in turn to 
reach the limit of their powers. Competition would be at its 
maximum, smaller and smaller variations would be capable of 
producing serious results. In the species where these conditions 
prevail an enlargement of the unit is imminent if progress is to 
occur. It is no longer possible by increases of physical com- 
plexity and the apparently inevitable sequence is the appearance 
of gregariousness. The necessity and inevitableness of the change 
are shewn by its scattered development in very widely separated 
regions (for example, in insects and in mammals) just as, we may 
suspect, multicellularity appeared. 

Gregariousness seems frequently to be regarded as a somewhat 
superficial character, scarcely deserving, as it were, the name of 
an instinct, advantageous it is true, but not of fundamental im- 



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HERD INSTINCT 233 

portance or likely to be deeply ingrained in the inheritance of 
the species. This attitude may be due to the fact that among 
mammals at any rate the appearance of gregariousness has not 
been accompanied by any very gross physical changes which are 
obviously associated with it.* 

To whatever it may be due, this method of regarding the social 
habit is, in the opinion of the present writer, not justified by 
the facts and prevents the attainment of conclusions of considerable 
fruitfulness. 

A study of bees and ants shews at once how fundamental the 
importance of gregariousness may become. The individual in 
such communities is completely incapable, often physically, of 
existing apart from the community and this fact at once gives 
rise to the suspicion that even in communities less closely knit 
than those of the ant and the bee the individual may in fact be 
more dependent on communal life than appears at first sight. 

Another very striking piece of general evidence of the signi- 
ficance of gregariousness as no mere late acquirement is the 
remarkable coincidence of its occurrence with that of exceptional 
grades of intelligence or the possibility of very complex reactions 
to environment. It can scarcely be regarded as an unmeaning 
accident that the dog, the horse, the ape, the elephant and 
man are all social animals. The instances of the bee and the 
ant are perhaps the most amazing. Here the advantages of gre- 
gariousness seem actually to outweigh the most prodigious differ- 
ences of structure, and we find a condition which is often thought 
of as a mere habit, capable of enabling the insect nervous system 
to compete in the complexity of its power of adaptation with that 
of the higher vertebrates. 

If it be granted that gregariousness is a phenomenon of 

profound biological significance and one likely therefore to be 

responsible for an important group of instinctive impulses, the 

next step in our argument is the discussion of the question as 

to whether man is to be regarded as gregarious in the full sense 

of the word, whether, that is to say, the social habit may be 

expected to furnish him with a mass of instinctive impulse as 

mysteriously potent as the impulses of self-preservation, nutrition 

and sex. Can we look to the social instinct for an explanation of 

some of the "a priori syntheses of the most perfect sort needing 

no proof but their own evidence " which are not explained by 

'Among gregariouB insects there are of coarse physical changes arising out of 
and closely dependent on the social organisation. 



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234 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

the three primitive categories of instinct, and remain stumbling 
blocks in the way of generalising the conduct of man. 

The conception of man as a gregarious animal is, of course, 
extremely familiar; one frequently meets with it in the writings 
of psychologists and sociologists and it has obtained a respectable 
currency with the lay public. It has indeed become so hackneyed 
that it is the first duty of a writer who maintains the thesis that 
its significance is not even yet fully understood, to shew that the 
popular conception of it has been far from exhaustive. As used 
hitherto the idea seems to have had a certain vagueness which 
greatly impaired its practical value. It furnished an interesting 
analogy for some of the behaviour of man, or was enunciated 
as a half serious illustration by a writer who felt himself to be in 
an exceptionally sardonic vein, but it was not at all widely looked 
upon as a definite fact of biology which must have consequences 
as precise and a significance as ascertainable as the secretion of 
the gastric juice or the refracting apparatus of the eye. One of 
the most familiar attitudes was that which regarded the social 
instinct as a late development. The family was looked upon as 
the primitive unit; from it developed the tribe and by the spread 
of family feeling to the tribe the social instinct arose. It is inter- 
esting that the psychological attack upon this position has been 
anticipated by sociologists and anthropologists, and that it is 
already being recognised that an undifferentiated horde rather than 
the family must be regarded as the primitive basis of human 
society. 

The most importance consequence of this vague way of 
regarding the social habit of man has been that no exhaustive 
investigation of its psychological corollaries has been carried out. 
When we see the enormous effect in determining conduct that the 
gregarious inheritance has in the bee, the ant, the horse or the 
dog, it is quite plain that if the gregariousness of man had been 
seriously regarded as a definite fact a great amount of work would 
have been done in determining precisely what reactive tendencies 
it had marked out in man's mind. Unfortunately, the amount of 
precise work of this kind has been very small. 

From the biological standpoint the probability of gregariousness 
being a primitive and fundamental quality in man seems to be 
considerable. As already pointed out, like the other great en- 
largement of the biological unit, but in a much more easily recog- 
nisable degree, it would appear to have the effect of enlarging the 
advantages of variation. Varieties not immediately favourable, 



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HERD INSTINCT 235 

varieties departing widely from the standard, varieties even un- 
favourable to the individual may be supposed to be given by it 
a chance of survival. Now the course of the development of man 
seems to present many features incompatible with its having 
proceeded amongst isolated individuals exposed to the unmodified 
action of natural selection. Changes so serious as the assumption 
of the upright posture, the reduction in the jaw and its muscula- 
ture, the reduction in the acuity of smell and hearing, demand, 
if the species is to survive, either a delicacy of adjustment with 
the compensatingly developing intelligence so minute as to be 
almost inconceivable, or the existence of some kind of protective 
enclosure, however imperfect, in which the varying individuals 
may be sheltered from the direct influence of natural selection. 
The existence of such a mechanism would compensate losses of 
physical strength in the individual by the greatly increased 
strength* of the larger unit, of the unit, that is to say, upon which 
natural selection still acts unmodified. 

A realisation, therefore, of this function of gregariousness 
relieves us from the necessity of supposing that the double varia- 
tions of diminishing physical and increasing mental capacity 
always occurred pari passu. The case for the primitiveness of 
the social habit would seem to be still further strengthened by a 
consideration of such widely aberrant developments as speech and 
the aesthetic activities but a discussion of them here would involve 
an unnecessary indulgence of biological speculation. 

IV. Mental Characteristics of the Gregarious Animal. 

(a) Current Views in Sociology and Psychology. 

If we now assume that gregariousness may be regarded as a 
fundamental quality of man, it remains to discuss the effects we 
may expect it to have produced upon the structure of his mind. 
It would be well, however, first, to attempt to form some idea 
of how far investigation has already gone in this direction. It 
is of course clear that no complete review of all that has been 
said concerning a conception so familiar can be attempted here, 
and, even if it were possible, it would not be a profitable enter- 
prise, as the great bulk of wTiters have not seen in the idea 
anything to justify a fundamental examination of it. What will 
be done here, therefore, will be to mention a few representative 
writers who have dealt with the subject, and to give in a summary 
way the characteristic features of their exposition. 

As far as I am aware, the first person to point out any of 



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236 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

the less obvious biological significance of gregariousness was 
Professor Karl Pearson.* 

He called attention to the enlargement of the selective unit 
affected by the appearance of gregariousness, and to the fact 
that therefore within the group the action of natural selection 
becomes modified. This conception had, as is well known, 
escaped the insight of Haeckel, of Spencer and of Huxley, and 
Pearson shewed into what confusions in their treatment of the 
problems of society these three had been led by the oversight.! 
For example may be mentioned the famous antithesis of the 
•• cosmical " and the " ethical " processes expounded in Huxley's 
, Romanes Lecture. It was quite definitely indicated by Pearson 
\ that the so-called ethical process, the appearance, that is to say, 
of altruism, is to be regarded as a directly instinctive product 
of gregariousness, and as natural, therefore, as any other instinct. 

These very clear and valuable conceptions do not seem, 
however, to have received from biologists the attention they 
deserved, and as far as I am aware their author has not continued 
further the examination of the structure of the gregarious mind, 
which would undoubtedly have yielded in his hands further con- 
clusions of equal value. 

We may next examine the attitude of a modern sociologist. 
I have chosen for this purpose the work of an American sociolo- 
gist, Lester Ward, and propose briefly to indicate his position 
as it may be gathered from his book entitled ** Pure Sociology." J 

The task of summarising the views of any sociologist seems 
to me to be rendered difiicult by a certain vagueness in outline 
of the positions laid down, a certain tendency for a description 
of fact to run into an analogy, and an analogy to fade into an 
illustration. It would be discourteous to doubt that these tenden- 
cies are necessary to the fruitful treatment of the material of 
sociology, but, as they are very prominent in connection with 

* Many references to the subject will be found in his published works, for example 
in "The Grammar of Science," in "National Life from the Standpoint of Science," 
and in "The Chances of Death." In the collection of Essays last named, the essay 
entitled "Socialism and Natural Selection" deals most fully with the subject. 

f Socialism and Natural Selection" in "The Chances of Death." 

t Lester F. Ward. " Pure Sociology : a Treatise on the Origin and Spontaneous 
development of Society." New York. The Macmillan Co. 1903. I do not venture 
to decide whether this work may be regarded as representative of orthodox sociology, 
if there be such a thing; I have made the choice because of the author's capacity 
for fresh and ingenious speculation, and his obviously wide knowledge of sociological 
literature. 



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HERD INSTINCT 237 

the subject of gregariousness, it is necessary to say that one is 
fully conscious of the difficulties they give rise to, and feels 
that they may have led one into unintentional misrepresentation. 

With this proviso it may be stated that the writings of Ward 
produce the feeling that he regards gregariousness as furnishing 
but few precise and primitive characteristics of the human mind. 
The mechanisms through which group ** instinct " acts would 
seem to be to him largely rational processes, and group instinct 
itself is regarded as a relatively late development more or less 
closely associated with a rational knowledge that it ** pays.*' For 
example, he says, ** For want of a better name, I have charac- 
terised this social instinct, or instinct of race safety, as religion, 
but not without clearly perceiving that it constitutes the primordial 
undifferentiated plasm out of which have subsequently developed 
all the more important human institutions. This .... if it be 
not an instinct, is at least the human homologue of animal 
instinct, and served the same purpose after the instincts hod 
chiefly disappeared, and when the egotistic reason would otherwise 
have rapidly carried the race to destruction in its mad pursuit 
of pleasure for its own sake."* 

That gregariousness has to be considered amongst the factors 
shaping the tendencies of the human mind has long been recog- 
nised by the more empirical psychologists. In the main, however, 
it has been regarded as a quality perceptible only in the charac- 
teristics of actual crowds, that is to say, assemblies of persons 
being and acting in association. This conception has served to 
evoke a certain amount of valuable work in the observation of 
the behaviour of crowds. f 

Owing, however, to the failure to investigate as the more 
essential question the effects of gregariousness in the mind of 
the normal individual man, the theoretical side of crowd psycho- 
logy has remained incomplete and relatively sterile. 

There is, however, one exception, in the case of the work 
of Boris Sidis. In a book entitled ** The Psychology of Sugges- 
tion '* J he has described certain psychical qualities as necessarily 

* " Pure Sociology," p. 134. Italics not in original. Passages of a similar tendency 
will be found on pp. 200 and 556. 

tFor example, the excellent little book of Gustavo Le Bon — " Psychologie dee 
Foules/' Paris : Felix A lean — ^in which are fonnulated many generalisations of great 
Qse fulness. 

t " The Psychology of Suggestion : a Research into the subconscious nature of 
Man and Society/' by Boris Sidis, with an Introduction by Prof. Wm. James. 
New York. 1903. 



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238 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

associated with the social habit in the individual as in the crowd. 
His position, therefore, demands some discussion. The funda- 
mental element in it is the conception of the normal existence 
in the mind of a subconscious self. This subconscious or sub- 
waking self is regarded as embodying the '* lower " and more 
obviously brutal qualities of man. It is irrational, imitative, 
credulous, cowardly, cruel, and lacks all individuality, will and 
self control. ♦ This personality takes the place of the normal 
personality during hypnosis and when the individual is one of 
an active crowd, as, for example, in riots, panics, lynchings, 
revivals, and so forth. 

Of the two personalities — the subconscious and the normal — 
the former alone is suggestible ; the successful operation of sugges- 
tion implies the recurrence, however transient, of a disaggregation 
of personality, and the emergence of the subwaking self as the 
controlling mind (pp. 89 and 90). It is this suggestibility of the 
subwaking self which enables man to be a social animal. ** Sug- 
gestibility is the cement of the herd, the very soul of the primitive 
social group .... Man is a social animal, no doubt, but he is 
social because he is suggestible. Suggestibility, however, requires 
disaggregation of consciousness, hence society presupposes a 
cleavage of the mind. Society and mental epidemics are intimately 
related; for the social gregarious self is the suggestible subcon- 
scious self " (p. 310). 

Judged from our present standfK>int, the most valuable feature 
of Sidis' book is that it calls attention to the undoubtedly intimate 
relation between gregariousness and suggestibility. The mech- 
anism, however, by which he supposes suggestibility to come into 
action is more open to criticism. The conception of a permanent 
subconscious self is one to which it is doubtful whether the evidence 
compels assent.t The essential difference, however, which Sidis' 
views present from those to be developed below, lies in his 
regarding suggestibility as being something which is liable to 
intrude upon the normal mind as the result of a disaggregation of 
consciousness, instead of as a necessary quality of every normal 
mind, continually present, and an inalienable accompaniment of 
human thought. A careful reading of his book gives a very clear 

* "Psychology of Saggertion,*' p. 296. 

^ In this comiezion the " Symposium on the Subconscious " in the "Journal' of 
Abnormal Psychology,'* vol. ii, Nos. 1 and 2, is of much interest. The discussion 
is contributed to by Munsterberg, Ribot, Jastrow, Pierre Janet and Morton Prinoe. 



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HERD INSTINCT 239 

impression that he looks upon suggestibility as a disreputable 
and disastrous legacy of the brute and the savage, unde3irable in 
civilised life, opposed to the satisfactory development of the normal 
individuality, and certainly in no way associated at its origin 
with a quality so valuable as altruism. Moreover, one gets the 
impression that he regards suggestibility as being manifested 
chiefly, if not solely, in crowds, in panics, revivals, and in condi- 
tions generally in which the element of close association is well 
marked. 
(b) Deductive Considerations. 

The functions of the gregarious habit in a species may broadly 
be defined as offensive or defensive, or both. Whichever of these 
modes it has assumed in fhe animal under consideration, it will 
be correlated with effects which will be divisible into two classes 
— the general characteristics of the social animal, and the special 
characteristics of the form of social habit possessed by the given 
animal. The dog and the sheep illustrate well the characteristics 
of the two simple forms of gregariousness — offensive and defensive. 

I. Special Characteristics of the Gregarious Animal. 

These need not be dealt with here, as they are the qualities 
which for the most part have been treated of by psychologists in 
such work as has been done on the corollaries of gregariousness in 
man. This is because they are qualities which are most evident 
in man's behaviour when he acts in crowds, and are then evident 
as something temporarily superadded to the possibilities of the 
isolated individual. Hence it has come about that they have been 
taken for the most i>art as constituting the whole of man's gre- 
garious inheritance, while the possibility that that inheritance 
might have equally important consequences for the individual has 
been relatively neglected. 

II. General Characteristics of the Gregarious Animal. 

The cardinal quality of the herd is homogeneity. It is clear 

that the great advantage of the social habit is to enable large 

numbers to act as one, whereby in the case of the hunting 

gregarious animal strength in pursuit and attack is at once 

increased to beyond that of the creatures preyed upon,* and in 

*The wolf pack formB an organism, it ia interesting to note, stronger than the 
lion or the tiger; ci^ble of compensating for the loss of members; inexhaostible in 
pursuit, and therefore capable by sheer strength of hunting down without wile or 
artifice the fleetest animals; capable finally of consuming all the food it kills, and 
thus possessing another considerable advantage over the large solitary camivora in 
not tending uselessly to exhaust its food supply. The advantages of the social habit 
in camivora is well shown by the survival of wolves in civilized countries even to-day. 



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240 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

protective socialism the sensitiveness of the new unit to alarms 
is greatly in excess of that of the individual member of the flock. 

To secure these advantages of homogeneity, it is evident that 
the members of the herd must possess sensitiveness to the be- 
haviour of their fellows. The individual isolated will be of no 
meaning, the individual as part of the herd will be capable of 
transmitting the most potent impulses. Each member of tfie 
flock tending to follow his neighbour, and in turn to be followed, 
each is in some sense capable of leadership; but no lead will 
be followed that departs widely from normal behaviour. A lead 
will only be followed from its resemblance to the normal. If the 
leader go so far ahead as definitely to cease to be in the herd, 
he will necessarily be ignored. 

The original in conduct, that is to say resistiveness to the 
voice of the herd, will be suppressed by natural selection ; the wolf 
which does not follow the impulses of the herd will be starved; 
the sheep which does not respond to the flock will be eaten. 

Again, not only will the individual be responsive to impulses 
coming from the herd, but he will treat the herd as his normal 
environment. The impulse to be in and always to remain with 
the herd will have the strongest instinctive weight. Anything 
which tends to separate him from his fellows, as soon as it 
becomes perceptible as such, will be strongly resisted. 

So far, we have regarded the gregarious animal objectively. 
We have seen that he behaves as if the herd were the only 
environment in which he can live, that he is especially sensitive 
to impulses coming from the herd, and quite differently affected 
by the behaviour of animals not in the herd. Let us now try 
to estimate the mental aspects of these impulses. Suppose a 
species in possession of precisely the instinctive endowments which 
we have been considering to be also self-conscious, and let us 
ask what will be the forms under which these phenomena will 
present themselves in its mind. In the first place, it is quite 
evident that impulses derived from herd feeling will enter the 
mind with the value of instincts — they will present themselves as 
** a priori syntheses of the most perfect sort needing no proof 
but their own evidence." They will not, however, it is important 
to remember, necessarily always give this quality to the same 
specific acts, but will shew this great distinguishing characteristic 
that they may give to any opinion whatever the characters of 
instinctive belief, making it into an '^a priori synthesis;*' so that 
we shall expect to find acts which it would be absurd to look 



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HERD INSTINCT 241 

upon as the results of specific instincts carried out with all the 
enthusiasm of instinct, and displaying all the marks of instinctive 
behaviour. The failure to recognise this appearance of herd 
impulse as a tendency, as a power which can confer instinctive 
sanctions on any part of the field of belief or action, has prevented 
the social habit of man from attracting as much of the attention 
of psychologists as it might profitably have done. 

In interpreting into mental terms the consequences of gre- 
gariousness, we may conveniently begin with the simplest. The 
conscious individual will feel an unanalysable primary sense of 
comfort in the actual presence of his fellows, and a similar sense 
of discomfort in their absence. It will be obvious truth to him 
that it is not good for the man to be alone. Loneliness will be 
a real terror, insurmountable by reason. 

Again, certain conditions will become secondarily associated 
with presence with, or absence from, the herd. For example, take 
the sensations of heat and cold. The latter is prevented in gre- 
garious animals by close crowding, and experienced in the 
reverse condition; hence it comes to be connected in the mind 
with separation, and so acquires altogether unreasonable associa- 
tions of harmfulness. Similarly, the sensation of warmth is asso- 
ciated with feelings of the secure and salutary. It has taken 
medicine many thousands of years to begin to doubt the validity 
of the popular conception of the harmfulness of cold; yet to the 
psychologist such a doubt is immediately obvious.* 

Slightly more complex manifestations of the same tendency to 
homogeneity are seen in the desire for identification with the 
herd in matters of opinion. Here we find the biological explana- 
tion of the ineradicable impulse mankind has always displayed 
towards segregation into classes. Each one of us in his opinions 
and his conduct, in matters of dress, amusement, religion and 
politics, is compelled to obtain the support of a class, of a herd 
within the herd. The most eccentric in opinion or conduct is, we 
may be sure, supported by the agreement of a class, the smallness 
of which accounts for his apparent eccentricity, and the precious- 
ness of which accounts for his fortitude in defying general opinion. 
Again, anything which tends to emphasise difference from the 

'Anyone who has watched the behaviour of the dog and the cat towards warmth 
and cold cannot have failed to notice the effect of the gregarious habit on the 
fonner. The cat displays a moderate liking for warmth, but also a decided 
indifference to cold, and will quietly sit in the snow in a way which would be 
bnpossible to the dog. 



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242 • THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

herd is unpleasant. In the individual mind there will be an 
unanalysable dislike of the novel in action or thought. It will 
be ' wrong,' * wicked,' ' foolish,' ' undesirable,' or as we say 
' bad form,' according to varying circumstances which we can 
already to some extent define. 

Manifestations relatively more simple are shewn in the dislike 
of being conspicuous, in shyness and in stage fright. It is, 
however, sensitiveness to the behaviour of the herd which has 
the most important effects upon the structure of the mind of 
the gregarious animal. This sensitiveness is, as Sidis has clearly 
seen, closely associated with the suggestibility of the gregarious 
animal, and therefore with that of man. The effect of it will 
clearly be to make acceptable those suggestions which come from 
the herH, and those only. It is of especial importance to note 
that this suggestibility is not general, and that it is only herd 
suggestions which are rendered acceptable by the action of instinct. 
Man is, for example, notoriously insensitive to the suggestions 
of experience. The history of what is rather grandiosely called 
human progress everywhere illustrates this. If we look back upon 
the development of some such thing as the steam-engine, we 
cannot fail to be struck by the extreme obviousness of each 
advance, and how obstinately it was refused assimilation until 
the machine almost invented itself. 

Again, of two suggestions, that which the more perfectly 
embodies the voice of the herd is the more acceptable. The 
chances an affirmation has of being accepted could therefore be 
most satisfactorily expressed in terms of the bulk of the herd by 
which it is backed. 

It follows from the foregoing that anything which dissociates 
a suggestion from the herd will tend to ensure such a suggestion 
being rejected. For example, an imperious command from an 
individual known to be without authority is necessarily disre- 
garded, whereas the same person making the same suggestion in 
an indirect way so as to link it up with the voice of the herd 
will meet with success. 

It is unfortunate that in discussing these facts it has been 
necessary to use the word suggestibility, which has so thorough 
an implication of the abnormal. If the biological explanation 
of suggestibility here set forth be accepted, the latter must neces- 
sarily be a normal quality of the human mind. To believe must 
be an ineradical natural bias of man, or in other words an affiir- 
mation, positive or negative, is more readily accepted than rejected, 



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HERD INSTINCT 243 

unless its source is definitely dissociated from the herd. Man is 
not, therefore, suggestible by fits and starts, not merely in panics 
and in mobs, under hypnosis, and so forth, but always, every- 
where, and under any circumstances. The capricious way in 
which man reacts to different suggestions has been attributed to 
variations in his suggestibility. This in the opinion of the present 
writer is an incorrect interpretation of the facts which are more 
satisfactorily explained by regarding the variations as due to the 
differing extent to which suggestions are identified with the voice 
of the herd. 

Man's resistiveness to certain suggestions, and especially to 
experience, as is seen so well in his attitude to the new, becomes 
therefore but another evidence of his suggestibility, since the new 
has always to encounter the opposition of herd tradition. 

The apparent diminution in direct suggestibility with advanc- 
ing years, such as was demonstrated in children by Binet, is 
in the case of the adult familiar to all, and is there usually 
regarded as evidence of a gradually advancing organic change 
in the brain. It can be regarded, at least plausibly, as being 
due to the fact that increase of years must bring an increase in 
the accumulations of herd suggestion, and so tend progressively 
to fix opinion. 

In the early days of the human race, the appearance of the 
faculty of speech must have led to an immediate increase in the 
extent to which the decrees of the herd could be promulgated, 
and the field to which they applied. Now the desire for certitude 
is one of profound depth in the human mind, and possibly a 
necessary property of any mind, and it is very plausible to suppose 
that it led in these early days to the whole field of life being 
covered by pronouncements backed by the instinctive sanction of 
the herd. The life of the individual would be completely sur- 
rounded by sanctions of the most tremendous kind. He would 
know what he might and might not do, and what would happen 
if he disobeyed. It would be immaterial if experience confirmed 
these beliefs or not, because it would have incomparably less 
weight than the voice of the herd. Such a period is the only 
trace perceptible by the biologist of the Golden Age fabled by 
the poet, when the things happened as they ought, and hard 
facts had not begun to vex the soul of man. In some such 
condition we still find the Central Australian native. His whole 
life, to its minutest detail, is ordained for him by the voice of 
the herd, and he must not, under the most dreadful sanctions* 



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244 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

step outside its elaborate order. It does not matter to him that 
an infringement of the code under his very eyes is not followed 
by judgment, for with tribal suggestion so compactly organised, 
such cases are in fact no difficulty, and do not trouble his belief, 
just as in more civilised countries apparent instances of malignity 
in the reigning deity are not found to be inconsistent with his 
benevolence. 

Such must everywhere have been primitive human conditions, 
and upon them reason intrudes as an alien and hostile power, 
disturbing the perfection of life, and causing an unending series 
of conflicts. 

Experience, as is shewn by the whole history of man, is met 
by resistance because it invariably encounters decisions based 
upon instinctive belief, and nowhere is this fact more clearly to 
be seen than in the way in which the progress of science has 
been made. 

In matters that really interest him, man cannot support the 
suspense of judgment which science so often has to enjoin. He 
is too anxious to feel certain to have time to know. So that we 
see of the sciences, mathematics appearing first, then astronomy, 
then physics, then chemistry, then biology, then psychology, then 
sociology — but always the new field was grudged to the new 
method, and we still have the denial to sociology of the name 
of science. Nowadays, matters of national defence, of politics, 
of religion, are still too important for knowledge, and remain 
subjects for certitude, that is to say, in them we still prefer the 
comfort of instinctive belief, because we have not learnt adequately 
to value the capacity to foretell. 

Direct observation of man reveals at once the fact that a very 
considerable proportion of his beliefs are non-rational to a degree 
which is immediately obvious without any special examination, 
and with no special resources other than common knowledge. If 
we examine the mental furniture of the average man, we shall 
find it made up of a vast number of judgments of a very precise 
kind upon subjects of very great variety, complexity and difficulty. 
He will have fairly settled views upon the origin and nature of 
the universe, and upon what he will probably call its meaning; 
he will have conclusions as to what is to happen to him at 
death and after, as to what is and what should be the basis of 
conduct. He will know how the country should be governed, 
and why it is going to the dogs, why this piece of legislation is 
good, and that bad. He will have strong views upon military 



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HERD INSTINCT 24S 

and naval strategy, the principles of taxation, the use of alcohol 
and vaccination, the treatment of influenza, the prevention of 
hydrophobia, upon municipal trading, the teaching of Greek, upon 
what is permissible in art, satisfactory in literature, and hopeful 
in science. 

The bulk of such opinions must necessarily be without rational 
basis, since many of them are concerned with problems admitted 
by the expert to be still unsolved, while as to the rest it is 
clear that the training and experience of no average man can 
qualify him to have any opinion upon them at all. The rational 
method adequately used would have told him that on the great 
majority of these questions there could be for him but one 
attitude — that of suspended judgment. 

In view of the considerations that have been discussed above, 
this wholesale acceptance of non-rational belief must be looked 
upon as normal. The mechanism by which it is effected demands 
some examination, since it cannot be denied that the facts conflict 
noticeably with popularly current views as to the part taken by 
reason in the formation of opinion. 

It is clear at the outset that these beliefs are invariably regarded 
by the holder as rational, and defended as such, while the position 
of one who holds contrary views is held to be obviously unreason- 
able. The religious man accuses the atheist of being shallow and 
irrational, and is met by a similar reply; to the Conservative, 
the amazing thing about the Liberal is his incapacity to see 
reason and accept the only possible solution of public problems. 
Examination reveals the fact that the differences are not due 
to the commission of the mere mechanical fallacies of logic, since 
these are easily avoided, even by the politician, and since there 
is no reason to suppose that one party in such controversies is 
less logical than the other. The difference is due rather to the 
fundamental assumptions of the antagonists being hostile, and 
these assumptions are derived from herd suggestion ; to the Liberal, 
certain basal conceptions have acquired the quality of instinctive 
truth, have become " a priori syntheses," because of the accumu- 
lated suggestions to which he has been exposed, and a similar 
explanation applies to the atheist, the Christian and the Conser- 
vative. Each, it is important to remember, finds in consequence 
the rationality of his position flawless, and is quite incapable of 
detecting in it the fallacies which are obvious to his opponent, 
to whom that particular series of assumptions has not been ren- 
dered acceptable by herd suggestion. 



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240 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

To continue further the analysis of non-rational opinion, it 
should be observed that the mind rarely leaves uncriticised the 
assumptions which are forced on it by herd suggestion, the 
tendency being for it to find more or less elaborately rationalised 
justifications of them. This is in accordance with the enormously 
exaggerated weight which is always ascribed to reason in the 
formation of opinion and conduct, as is very well seen, for 
example, in the explanation of the existence of altruism as being 
due to man seeing that it " pays." 

It is of cardinal importance to recognise that in this process 
of the rationalisation of instinctive belief, it is the belief which 
is the primary thing, while the explanation, although masquer- 
ading as the cause of the belief, as the chain of rational evidence 
on which the belief is founded, is entirely secondary, and but 
for the belief would never have been thought of. Such rational- 
isations are often, in the case of intelligent people, of extreme 
ingenuity, and may be very misleading unless the true instinctive 
basis of the given opinion or action is thoroughly understood. 

This mechanism enables the English lady, who, to escaf>e the 
stigma of having normal feet, subjects them to a formidable 
degree of lateral compression, to be aware of no logical incon- 
sequence when she subscribes to missions to teach the Chinese 
lady how absurd it is to compress her feet longitudinally; it 
enables the European lady who wears rings in her ears to smile 
at the barbarism of the coloured lady who wears her rings in 
her nose ; it enables the Englishman who is amused by the African 
chieftain's regard for the top hat as an essential piece of the 
furniture of state to ignore the identity of his own behaviour when 
he goes to church beneath the same tremendous ensign. 

The objectivist finds himself compelled to regard these and 
similar correspondences between the behaviour of civilised and 
barbarous man as no mere interesting coincidences, but as phe- 
nomena actually and in the grossest way identical, but such an 
attitude is only possible when the mechanism is understood by 
which rationalisation of these customs is effected. 

The process of rationalisation which has just been illustrated 
by some of its simpler varieties is best seen on the largest scale, 
and in the most elaborate form, in the pseudosciences of political 
economy and ethics. Both of these are occupied in deriving from 
eternal principles justifications for masses of non-rational belief 
which are assumed to be permanent merely because they exist. 



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HERD INSTINCT 247 

Hence the notorious acrobatic feats of both in the face of any 
considerable variation in herd belief. 

It would seem that the obstacles to rational thought which have 
been pointed out in the foregoing discussion have received much 
less attention than should have been directed towards them. To 
maintain an attitude of mind which could be called scientific in 
any complete sense, it is of cardinal importance to recognise that 
belief of affirmations sanctioned by the herd is a normal mechanism 
of the human mind, and goes on however much such affirmations 
may be opposed by evidence, that reason cannot enforce belief 
against herd suggestion, and finally that totally false opinions 
may appear to the holder of them to possess all the characters of 
rationally verifiable truth, and may be justified by secondary 
processes of rationalisation which it may be impossible directly 
to combat by argument. 

It should be noticed, however, that verifiable truths may acquire 
the potency of herd suggestion, so that the suggestibility of man 
does not necessarily or always act against the advancement of 
knowledge. For example, to the student of biology the principles 
of Darwinism may acquire the force of herd suggestion through 
being held by the class which he most respects, is most in contact 
with, and the class which has therefore acquired suggestionising 
power with him. Propositions consistent with these principles 
will now necessarily be more acceptable to him, whatever the 
evidence by which they are supported, than they would be to 
one who had not been exposed to the same influences. The 
opinion in fact may be hazarded that the acceptance of any 
proposition is invariably the resultant of suggestive influences, 
whether the proposition be true or false, and that the balance 
of suggestion is usually on the side of the false, because, educa- 
tion being what it is, the scientific method — the method, that is 
to say, of experience has so little chance of acquiring suggestion- 
ising force. 

Thus far sensitiveness to the herd has been discussed in relation 
to its effect upon intellectual processes. Equally important effects 
are traceable in feeling. 

It is obvious that when free communication is possible by 
speech, the expressed approval or disapproval of the herd will 
acquire the qualities of identity or dissociation from the herd 
respectively. To know that he is doing what would arouse the 
disapproval of the herd will bring to the individual the same 
profound sense of discomfort which would accompany actual 



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248 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

physical separation, while to know that he is doing what the 
herd would approve will give him the sense of Tightness, of gusto 
and of stimulus which would accompany physical presence in the 
herd and response to its mandates. In both cases it is clear that 
no actual expression by the herd is necessary to arouse the 
appropriate feelings, which would come from within and have, in 
fact, the qualities which we recognise in the dictates of conscience. 
Conscience then and the feelings of guilt and of duty are the 
peculiar possessions of the gregarious animal. A dog and a cat 
caught in the commission of an offence will both recognise that 
punishment is coming; but the dog moreover knows that he has 
done wrong, and he will come to be punished, unwillingly it is 
true, and as if dragged along by some power outside him, while 
the cat's sole impulse is to escape. The rational recognition of 
the sequence of act and punishment is equally clear to the 
gregarious and to the solitary animal, but it is the former 
only who understands that he has committed a crime, who has 
in fact the sense of sin. That this is the origin of what we call 
conscience is confirmed by the characteristics of the latter which 
are accessible to observation. Any detailed examination of the 
phenomena of conscience would lead too far to be admissible here. 
Two facts, however, should be noticed. First, the judgments 
of conscience vary in different circles, and are dependent on local 
environments; secondly, they are not advantageous to the species 
to the slightest degree beyond the dicta of the morals current in 
the circle in which they originate. These facts — stated here in 
an extremely summary way — demonstrate that conscience is an 
indirect result of the gregarious instinct, and is in no sense derived 
from a special instinct forcing men to consider the good of the 
race rather than individual desires. 

W. Trotter. 



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POLITICAL THOUGHT IN ISLAM 249 



POLITICAL THOUGHT IN ISLAM. 

Pre-Islamic Arabia was divided into various tribes continually 
at war with one another. Each tribe had its own chief, its own 
god and its own poet, whose tribal patriotism manifested itself 
chiefly in the glorification of the virtues of his own tribe. Though 
these primitive social groups recognised, to a certain extent, their 
kinship viith one another, yet it was mainly the authority of 
Muhammad and the cosmopolitan character of his teaching which 
shattered the aristocratic ideals of individual tribes, and welded 
the dwellers of tents into one common ever-expanding nationality. 
For our purposes, however, it is necessary to notice, in the 
outset, the features of the Arabian system of tribal succession, 
and the procedure followed by the members of the tribe on the 
death of their chief. When the Chief or Shaikh of an Arab 
tribe died all the elders of the tribe met together, and, sitting 
in a circle, discussed the matter of succession. Any member of 
the tribe could hold the chieftainship if he were unanimously 
elected by the elders and heads of great families. The idea of 
hereditary monarchy, as Von Kremer has pointed out, was quite 
foreign to the Arab mind; though the principle of seniority 
which, since Ahmad I., has received legal recognition in the 
constitution of modern Turkey, did certainly influence the election. 
When the tribe was equally divided between two leaders, the 
rival sections separated from each other until one of the candidates 
relinquished his claim; otherwise the sword was appealed to. 
The Chief thus elected could be deposed by the tribe if his 
conduct necessitated deposition. With the expansion of the Arab 
conquest, and the consequent enlargement of mental outlook, this 
primitive custom gradually developed into a Political Theory 
carefully constructed, as we shall see, by the constitutional lawyers 
of Islam through reflective criticism on the revelations of political 
experience. 

True to this custom the Prophet of Arabia left no instructions 
with regard to the matter of his succession. There is a tradition 
that the old Amir, son of Tufail, came to the Prophet and said, 
'' If I embrace Islam what would my rank be? Willst thou 
give me the command after thee?" " It does not belong to me," 
said the Prophet, '* to dispose of the command after me." Abu 



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250 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

Bakr — ^the Prophet's father-in-law and one of his chief companions 
— ^therefore, in consequence of the danger of internal disruption, 
was rather hurriedly and irregularly elected. He then rose and 
addressed the people thus: — 

** Oh people ! Now I am ruler over you, albeit not the best 
amongst you. If I do well, support me; if ill, then set me 
right. Follow the true wherein is faithfulness, eschew the false 
wherein is treachery. The weaker amongst you shall be as the 
stronger with me, until, that I shall have redressed his wrong; 
and the stronger shall be as the weaker until, if the Lord will, 
I shall have taken from him that which he hath wrested. Leave 
not off to fight in the ways of the Lord; whosoever leaveth off, 
him verily shall the Lord abase. Obey me as I obey the Lord 
and his Prophet, wherein I disobey, obey me not." 

Omar, however, afterwards held that the hurried election of 
Abu Bakr, though very happy in its consequences and justified 
by the need of the time, should not form a precedent in Islam; 
for, as he is reported to have said (Dozy, I. p. 121), an election 
which is only a partial expression of the people's will is null 
and void. It was, therefore, early understood that Political 
Sovereignty de facto resides in the people ; and that the electorate 
by their free act of unanimous choice embody it in a determinate 
personality in which the collective will is, so to speak, individual- 
ised, without investing this concrete seat of power with any privilege 
in the eye of the law except legal control over the individual wills 
of which it is an expression. The idea of universal agreement is, 
in fact, the fundamental principle of Muslim constitutional theory. 
** What the Muslim community considers good," says the Prophet, 
** God also considers good." It is probably on the authority of 
this saying of the Prophet that Al-Ash*ari developed his political 
dogma — ** That error is impossible in the united deliberations of 
the whole community." After the death of Abu Bakr, Omar, 
who acted as Chief Judge during his predecessor's Caliphate, 
was universally elected by the people. In 644 a.d. he was 
mortally wounded by a Persian slave, and committed his trust, 
before he died, to seven electors — one of them being his own 
son — to nominate his successor, with the condition that their 
choice must be unanimous, and that none of them must stand 
as a candidate for the Caliphate. It will be seen, from Omar's 
exclusion of his own son from the candidature, how remote was 
the idea of hereditary monarchy from the Arabian political con- 
sciousness. The choice of this council, however, fell upon one 



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POLITICAL THOUGHT IN ISLAM asi 

of the councillors, Uthman, who was consequently nominated, 
and the nomination afterwards confirmed by the people. The 
Caliphate of Uthman is really the source of the three great 
religio-political parties with their respective political theories which 
each party, finding itself in power, attempted to realise in one or 
6ther of the provinces of the Arab Empire. Before, however, I 
proceed to describe these theories, I want to draw your attention 
to the following two points : — 

(i) That the Muslim Commonwealth is based on the absolute 
equality of all Muslims in the eye of the law. There is no 
privileged class, no priesthood, no caste system. In his latter 
days the Prophet once ascended the pulpit and said to the people : 

** Muslims: If I have struck any one of you, here is my 
back that he may strike me. If anyone has been wronged by 
me, let him return injury for injury. If I have taken anybody's 
goods, all that I have is at his disposal." A man arose and 
claimed a debt of three dirhams (about three shillings). ** I would 
much rather," said the Prophet, ** have the shame in this world 
than in the next." And he paid him on the spot. 

The law of Islam does not recognise the apparently natural 
differences of race, nor the historical differences of nationality. 
The political ideal of Islam consists in the creation of a people 
born of a free fusion of all races and nationalities. Nationality 
with Islam is not the highest limit of political development; for 
the general principles of the law of Islam rest on human nature, 
not on the peculiarities of a particular people. The inner cohesion 
of such a nation would consist not in ethnic or geographic unity, 
not in the unity of language or social tradition, but in the 
unity of the religious and political ideal ; or, in the psychological 
fact of ** likemindedness," as St. Paul would say. The member- 
ship of this nation, consequently, would not be determined by 
birth, marriage, domicile or naturalisation. It would be 
determined by a public declaration of ** likemindedness," and 
would terminate when the individual has ceased to be likeminded 
with others. The ideal territory for such a nation would be the 
whole earth. The Arabs, like the Greeks and the Romans, 
endeavoured to create such a nation or the world-state by conquest, 
but failed to actualise their ideal. The realisation of this ideal, 
however, is not impossible ; for the ideal nation does already exist 
in germ. The life of modern political communities finds 
expression, to a great extent, in common institutions, Law and 



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252 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

Government ; and the various sociological circles, so to speak, are 
continually expanding to touch one another. Further it is not 
incompatible with the sovereignty of individual States; since its 
structure will be determined, not by physical force, but by the 
spiritual force of a common ideal. 

(2) That according to the law of Islam there is no distinction 
between the Church and the State. The State with us is not a 
combination of religious and secular authority, but it is a unity 
in which no such distinction exists. The Caliph is not necessarily 
the high-priest of Islam; he is not the representative of God on 
earth. He is fallible like other men, and is subject, like every 
Muslim, to the impersonal authority of the same law. The 
Prophet himself is not regarded as absolutely infallible by many 
Muhammadan theologians {e.g., Abu Ishaq, Tabari). In fact 
the idea of personal authority is quite contrary to the spirit of 
Islam. The Prophet of Arabia succeeded in commanding the 
absolute submission of an entire people ; yet no man has depreciated 
his own authority more than he. " I am," he says, ** a man 
like you; like you my forgiveness also depends on the mercy 
of God." Once in a moment of spiritual exaltation, he is 
reported to have said to one of his companions, ** Go and tell 
the people — he who says — ** There is only one God — ^will enter 
the paradise," studiously omitting the second half of the Muslim 
creed — **And Muhammed is his Prophet." The ethical importance 
of this attitude is great. The whole system of Islamic ethics is 
based on the idea of individuality ; anything which tends to repress 
the healthy development of individuality is quite inconsistent with 
the spirit of Islamic Law and Ethics. A Muslim is free to do 
anything he likes, provided he does not violate the law. The 
general principles of this law are believed to have been revealed; 
the details, in order to cover the relatively secular cases, are 
, left to the interpretation of professional lawyers. It is, therefore, 
true to say that the entire fabric of Islamic Law, actually admin- 
istered, is really judge made law, so that the lawyer performs the 
legislative function in the Muslim constitution. If, however, an 
absolutely new case arise which is not provided for in the law of 
Islam, the will of the whole Muslim community becomes a further 
source of law. But I do not know whether a general council of 
the whole Muslim community was ever held for this purpose. 

I shall now describe the three great Political Theories to which 
I have alluded above. I shall first take up the Sunni view. 



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POLITICAL THOUGHT IN ISLAM 253 

L Elective Monarchy. 
A. The Caliph and the People. 

During the days of the early Caliphate things were extremely 
simple. The Caliphs were like private individuals, sometimes 
doing the work of an ordinary constable. In obedience to the 
Quranic verse — ** And consult them in all matters," they always 
consulted the more influential companions of the Prophet, in 
judicial and executive matters, but no formal ministers existed to 
assist the Caliph in his administrative work. It was not until 
the time of the House of Abbas that the Caliphate became the 
subject of scientific treatment. In my description of the Sunni 
view I shall mainly follow Al-Mawardy — the earliest Muslim consti- 
tutional lawyer who flourished during the reign of the Abbasi 
Caliph Al-Qadir. 

Al-Mawardy divides the wholeMuslim community into twoclasses 
(i) the electors, (2) the candidates for election. The qualifications 
absolutely necessary for a candidate are thus enumerated by him : 

1. Spotless character. 

2. Freedom from physical and mental infirmity. The prede- 
cessor of the present Sultan of Turkey was deposed under 
this condition. 

3. Necessary legal and theological knowledge in order to be 
able to decide various cases. This is true in theory; in 
practice the power of the Caliph, especially in later times, 
was divided. 

4. Insight necessary for a ruler. 

5. Courage to defend the empire. 

6. Relationship with the family of the Quarish. This quali- 
fication is not regarded as indispensable by modern Sunni 
lawyers, on the ground that the Prophet never nominated 
any person as his successor. 

7. Full age (Al-GhazalT). It was on this ground that the chief 
judge refused lo elect Al-Muqtadir. 

8. Male sex (Al-Baidawl). This is denied by the Khawarij who 
hold that a woman can be elected as Caliph. 

If the candidate satisfies these conditions, the representatives 
of all influential families, doctors of law, high officials of the 
State, and commanders of the army meet together and nominate 
him to the Caliphate. The whole assembly then proceeds to the 
mosque where the nomination is duly confirmed by the people. 



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254 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

In distant places representatives of the elected Caliph are permitted 
to receive homage on behalf of the Caliph. In the matter of 
election the people of the capital, however, have no precedence 
over other people — though, in practice, they have a certain amount 
of precedence, since they are naturally the first to hear of the 
Caliph's death. After the election, the Caliph usually makes a 
speech, promising to rule according to the law of Islam. Most 
of these speeches are preserved. It will be seen that the principle 
of representation is, to a certain extent, permitted in practical 
politics; in the law of property, however, it is expressly denied. 
For instance, if B. dies in the lifetime of his father A. and his 
brother C, leaving issue, the whole property of A. goes to C. 
The children of B. have no claim; they cannot represent their 
father, or ** stand in his shoes." 

From a legal standpoint, the Caliph does not occupy any 
privileged position. In theory, he is like other members of the 
Commonwealth. He can be directly sued in an ordinary law 
court. The second Caliph was once accused of appropriating 
a larger share in the spoils of war, and he had to clear his 
conduct before the people, by production of evidence according 
to the law of Islam. In his judicial capacity he is open to the 
criticism of every Muslim. Omar I. was severely reprimanded by 
an old woman who pointed out to him that his interpretation of 
a certain Quranic verse was absolutely wrong. The Caliph 
listened to her aigument, and decided the case according to her 
views. 

The Caliph may indicate his successor who may be his son; 
but the nomination is invalid until confirmed by the people. Out 
of the fourteen Caliphs of the House of Umayya only four suc- 
ceeded in securing their sons as their successors. The Caliph 
cannot secure the election of his successor during his own lifetime. 
Ibn Athir tells us that Abdul Malik — ^the Umayya Caliph- 
endeavoured to do so, but Ibn Musayyib, the great Mekkan 
lawyer, strongly protested against the Caliph's behaviour. The 
Abbasi Caliph Hadi, however, succeeded in securing the election 
of his son Ja'far, but after his death the majority declared for 
Harun. In such a case, when the people declare for another 
Caliph, the one previously elected must, on penalty of death, im- 
mediately renounce his right in public. 

If the Caliph does not rule according to the law of Islam, or 
suffers from physical or mental infirmity, the Caliphate is forfeited. 
Usually one influential Muhammadan stands up in the mosque 



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POLITICAL THOUGHT IN ISLAM 255 

after the prayer, and speaks to the congregation giving reasons for 
the proposed deposition. He declares deposition to be the interest 
of Islam, and ends his speech by throwing away his finger-ring 
with the remark — ** I reject the Caliph as I throw away this ring." 
The people then signify their assent in various ways, and the 
deposition is complete. 

The question whether two or more rival Caliphates can exist 
simultaneously is discussed by Muslim lawyers. Ibn Jama' holds 
that only one Caliphate is possible. Ibn Khaldun holds that 
there is nothing illegal in the co-existence of two or more Caliphates, 
provided they are in different countries. Ibn Khaldun's view is 
certainly contrary to the old Arabian idea, yet in so far as the 
Muslim Commonwealth is governed by an impersonal authority, 
i.e.j law, his position seems to me to be quite a tenable one. 
Moreover, as a matter of fact, two rival Caliphates have existed in 
Islam for a long time and still exist. 

Just as a candidate for the Caliphate must have certain qualifica- 
tions, so, according to Al-Mawardy, the elector also must be 
qualified. He must possess — 

(i) Good reputation as an honest man. 

(2) Necessary knowledge of State affairs. 

(3) Necessary insight and judgment. 

In theory all Muslims, men and women, possess the right 
of election. There is no property qualification. In practice, 
however, women and slaves did not exercise this right. Some of 
the early lawyers seem to have recognised the danger of mass- 
elections, as they endeavour to show that the right of election 
resides only in the tribe of the Prophet. Whether the seclusion of 
women grew up in order to make women incapable of exercising 
a right which in theory could not be denied to them, I cannot say. 

The elector has the right to demand the deposition of the Caliph, 
or the dismissal of his officials if he can show that their conduct is 
not in accordance with the law of Islam. He can, on the subject, 
address the Muslim congregation in the mosque after the prayer. 
The mosque, it must be remembered, is the Muslim Forum, and the 
institution of daily prayer is closely connected with the political 
life of Muslim communities. Apart from its spiritual and social 
functions, the institution is meant to serve as a ready means of 
constant criticism on the State. If, however, the elector does not 
intend to address the congregation, he can issue a judicial inquiry 
concerning the conduct of any State official, or any other matter 
which affects the community as a whole. The judicial inquiry as a 



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256 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

rule, does not mention the name of any individual. I quote an 
illustration in order to give you an idea of this procedure : — 

*' In the name of God, most merciful and clement. What is 
the opinion of the doctors of law, the guides Qf the people, on the 
encouragement of the Zimmis, and on the assistance we can 
demand from them, whether as clerks to the Amirs entrusted with 
the administration of the country, or as collectors of taxes ? . . . 
Explain the above by solid proofs, establish the orthodox belief 
by sound arguments, and give your reasons. God will reward 
you." 

Such judicial inquiries are issued by the State as well, and when 
the lawyers give conflicting decisions, the majority prevails. 

Forced election is quite illegal. Ibn Jama*, an Egyptian 
lawyer, however, holds that forced election is legal in times of 
political unrest. This opportunist view has no support in the law 
of Islam; though, undoubtedly, it is based on historical facts. 
Tartushi — a Spanish lawyer — would probably hold the same view ; 
for he says : ** Forty years of tyranny are better than one hour of 
anarchy." 

Let us now consider the relation between the elected and the 
elector. Al-Mawardy defines this relation as **Aqd** — ^binding 
together, contract. The State therefore is a contractual organism, 
and implies rights and duties. He does not mean, like Rousseau, 
to explain the origin of society by an original social contract; he 
holds that the actual fact of election is a contract in consequence of 
which the Caliph has to do certain duties, e.g., to defend the 
religion, to enforce the law of Islam, to levy customs and taxes 
according to the law of Islam, to pay annual salaries and properly 
to direct the State treasury. If he fulfils these conditions, the 
people have mainly two duties in relation to him, e.g.y to obey him, 
and to assist him in his work. Apart from this contract, however, 
Muslim lawyers have also enumerated certain cases in which 
obedience to the Caliph is not necessary. 

The origin of the State then, according to Al-Mawardy, is not 
force, but free consent of individuals who unite to form a brother- 
hood, based upon legal equality, in order that each member of the 
brotherhood may work out the potentialities of his individuality 
under the law of Islam. Government, with him, is an artificial 
arrangement, and is divine only in the sense that the law of Islam 
— believed to have been revealed — demands peace and security. 



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POLITICAL THOUGHT IN ISLAM 257 

B. Ministers and other Officials. 

The Caliph, after his election, appoints the principal officials 
of the State, or confirms those previously in office. The following 
are the principal State officials with their duties defined by the 
law : — 

(i) The Wazir — the Prime Minister— -either with limited or un- 
limited powers. The Wazir with unlimited powers must possess 
the same qualifications as the Caliph, except that, according to 
Al-Mawardy, he need not necessarily belong to the Quraish tribe. 
He must be thoroughly educated especially in Mathematics, History, 
and the Art of speaking. He can perform all the functions of the 
Caliph, except that he cannot nominate the Caliph's successor. 
He can, without previous sanction of the Caliph, appoint officers 
of the various departments of the State. The Wazir with limited 
powers cannot do so. The dismissal of the Wazir with unlimited 
powers means the dismissal of all officials appointed by him ; while 
the dismissal of the Wazir with limited powers does not lead to the 
dismissal of the officials appointed by him. More than one Wazir 
with unlimited powers cannot be appointed. The governors of 
various provinces can appoint their own Wazirs. A non-Muham- 
madan may be appointed Wazir with limited powers. The Shi'ah 
dynasty of the Obaidies appointed a Jew to this position. An 
Egyptian poet expresses their sentiments as follows : — "The Jews 
of our time have reached the goal of their ambition — ^Theirs is 
all honour, theirs is all gold — O people of Egypt I advise you to 
become Jews ; God himself has become a Jew." 

(2) Next to the Wazir the most important executive officers of 
the State were governors of various provinces. They were 
appointed by the Caliph with limited or unlimited powers. The 
governor with unlimited powers could appoint sub-governors to 
adjoining smaller provinces. For instance the sub-governor of 
Sicily was appointed by the Governor of Spain and 'that of Scind 
by the Governor of Bassora. This was really an attempt to create 
self-governing Muslim colonies. The officer in charge was, so to 
speak, a miniature caliph of his province; he appointed his own 
Wazir, Chief Judge, and other state officers. Where a special 
commander of the provincial army was not appointed, the 
Governor, ea officio, acted as the commander. This, however, was 
an error, since the governors become gradually powerful and 
frequently asserted their independence. But in his capacity of the 
commander, the governor had no right to raise the salaries of his 



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258 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

soldiers except in very special circumstances. It was his duty to 
send all the money to the central treasury after defraying the 
necessary state expenses. If the provincial income fell short of 
the expenses, he could claim a contribution from the central 
treasury. If he is appointed by the Caliph, the death of the latter 
is not followed by his dismissal; but if he is appointed by the 
Wazir, the death of the Wazir means the dismissal of all governors 
appointed by him, provided they are not newly confirmed in their 
respective posts. 

The governor with limited powers was a purely executive 
officer. He had nothing to do with judicial matters, and in criminal 
matters too his authority was very much limited. 

Muslim lawyers, however, recognise a third kind of governor- 
ship, i.e., by usurpation. But the usurper must fulfil certain 
conditions before his claim is legally justified. 

(3) Commanders of armies. Here too the distinction of limited 
and unlimited powers is made, and the duties of commanders, 
subordinate officers, and soldiers are clearly defined. 

(4) The Chief Judge. The Chief Judge could be appointed by 
the Caliph or the Wazir. According to Abu Hanifa in some cases, 
and according to Abu JarirTabary, a non-Muslim can be appointed 
to administer the law of his co-religionists. The Chief Judge, as 
representative of the law of Islam, can depose the Caliph — he can 
kill his own creator. His death means the dismissal of his staff; 
but the death of the sovereign is not followed by the dismissal of 
the judges appointed by him. During an interregnum a judge 
can be elected by the people of a town, but not during the 
sovereign's lifetime. 

(5) President of the Highest Court of Appeal and general con- 
trol. The object of this institution was to hear appeals and to 
exercise a general supervision over all the departments of the 
state. Abdul Malik — the Umayya Caliph and the founder of this 
court — personally acted as the president, though more difficult 
cases he transferred to Qazi Abu Idris. In later times the presi- 
dent was appointed by the Caliph. During the reign of the 
Abbasi Caliph Al-Muqtadir, his mother was appointed President, 
and she used to hear appeals, on Fridays, surrounded by judges, 
priests and other notables. In one respect, the President of this 
court differed from the Chief Judge. He was not bound by the 
letter of the law like the Qazi ; his decisions were based on general 
principles of natural justice, so that the President was something 
like the keeper of the Caliph's conscience. He was assisted by a 



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POLITICAL THOUGHT IN ISLAM 259 

council of judges and lawyers whose duty was to discuss every 
aspect of the case before the President announced his decision. 
The importance of this institution may be judged from the fact 
that it was among the few Muslim institutions which the Normans 
retained after their conquest of Sicily in the nth century. 



IL The Shi'ah View. 

According to the Shi'ah view the State is of divine origin, and 
the Caliph or, as they call Imam, governs by divine right. This 
view arose among an obscure Arabian sect known as the Saba'ites 
whose founder Abdulla ibn Saba was a Jew of San'a in Yemen. 
In the time of Uthman he became a convert to Islam, and finally 
settled in Egypt where he preached his doctrine. This doctrine 
harmonised with the pre-Islamic habits of political thought in 
Persia, and soon found a permanent home in that country. The 
Imam, according to the Persians, is not elected (the Shi'ahs of 
Oman, however, adopted the elective principle and held that the 
Imam might be deposed) but appointed by God. He is the 
re-incarnation of Universal Reason, he is endowed with all perfec- 
tions, his wisdom is superhuman and his decisions are absolute 
and final. The first Imam Ali was appointed by Muhammad; 
Ali's direct descendants are his divinely ordained successors. The 
world is never without a living Imam whether visible or invisible. 
The 1 2th Imam, according to the Shi'ahs, suddenly disappeared 
near Kufa, but he will come again and fill the world with peace 
and prosperity. In the meantime he communicates his will, from 
time to time, through certain favoured individuals — called Gates — 
who hold mysterious intercourse with him. Now this doctrine of 
the absence of the Imam has a very important pK)litical aspect 
which few students of Islam have fully appreciated. Whether the 
Imam really disappeared or not, I do not know ; but it is obvious 
that the dogma is a clever way of separating the Church and the 
State. The absent Imam, as I have pointed out above, is absolute 
authority on all matters; the present executive authorities are, 
therefore, only guardians of the estate which really belongs to the 
Imam, who, as such, inherits the property of deceased intestates 
in case they leave no heirs. It will therefore be seen that the 
authority of the Shah of Persia is limited by the authority of the 
Mullas — the representatives of the absent Imam. As a mere 
guardian of the estate he is subject to the religious authority of 
the Mullas, — though, as the chief executive authority he is free to 



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260 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

adopt any measure for the good of the estate. It is not, therefore, 
surprising that the Mullas took an active part in the recent 
constitutional reform in Persia. 

III. The Khawarij — Republicanism. 

I shall be very brief in my account of the Khawarij, since the 
history of their opinion is yet to be worked out. The first Muslims 
who were so called were the notorious 12,000 who revolted against 
AH after they had fought under him at the battle of Siffin. They 
were offended at his submitting the decision of his right to the 
Caliphate to the arbitration of men when, in their opinion, it ought 
to have been submitted to the law of God — ^the Koran. **The 
nation," they said to Ali, ** calls us to the book of God; you call 
us to the sword." Shahristani divides them into twenty-four 
sects, differing slightly from one another in legal and constitu- 
tional opinion, e.g., that the ignorance of the law is a valid excuse; 
that the adulterer should not be stoned, for the Quran nowhere 
mentions this punishment; that the hiding of one's religious 
opinions is illegal ; that the Caliph should not be called the com- 
mander of the faithful ; that there is nothing illegal in having two 
or more Caliphs in one and the same time. In East Africa and 
Mazab — South Algeria — they still maintain the simplicity of their 
republican ideal. Broadly speaking the Khawarij can be divided 
into three classes : — 

(i) Those who hold that there must be an elected Caliph, but 
it is not necessary that he should belong to a particular 
family or tribe. A woman or even a slave could be 
elected as Caliph provided he or she is a good Muslim 
ruler. Whenever they found themselves in power, they 
purposely elected their Caliph from among the socially 
lowest members of their community. 

(2) Those who hold that there is no need of a Caliph, the 
Muslim congregation can govern themselves. 

(3) Those who do not believe in Government at all — the 
anarchists of Islam, To them Caliph Ali is reported to 
have said : ** You do not believe in any Government, but 
there must be some Government good or bad." 

Such are, briefly the main lines of Political Thought in Islam. 
It is clear that the fundamental principle laid down in the Quran is 
the principle of election; the details or rather the translation of 
this principle into a workable scheme of Government is left to be 



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POLITICAL THOUGHT IN ISLAM 261 

determined by other considerations. Unfortunately, however, the 
idea of election did not develop on strictly democratic lines, and 
the Muslim conquerors consequently failed to do anything for the 
political improvement of Asia. The form of election was certainly 
maintained in Baghdad and Spain, but no regular political institu- 
tions could grow to vitalise the people at large. It seems to me 
that there were principally two reasons for this want of political 
activity in Muslim countries : — 

(i) In the first place the idea of election was not at all suited to 
the genius of the Persians and the Mongols — the two 
principal races which accepted Islam as their religion. 
Dozy tells us that the Persians were even determined to 
worship the Caliph as a divinity, and on being told that 
worship belonged to God alone, they attempted to rebel 
against the Caliph who would not be the centre of their 
religipus emotion • 

(2) The life of early Muslims was a life of conquest. Their whole 
energy was devoted to political expansion which tends to 
concentrate political power in fewer hands, and thus 
serves as an unconscious handmaid of despotism. 
Democracy does not seem to be quite willing to get on with 
Empire — ^a lesson which the modern English Imperialist 
might well take to heart. 

In modern times — thanks to the influence of western political 
ideas — Muslim countries have exhibited signs of political life. 
England has vitalised Egypt; Persia has received a constitution 
from the Shah, and the gifted people of this country will, I hope, 
gradually work out their transformation if the flood of western 
economic enterprise does not sweep away their political individu- 
ality. The Young Turkish Party too have been struggling, 
scheming, and plotting to achieve their object. But it is absolu- 
tely necessary for these political reformers to make a thorough 
study of Islamic constitutional principles, and not to shock the 
naturally suspicious conservatism of their people by appearing as 
prophets of a new culture. They would certainly impress them 
more if they could show that their seemingly borrowed ideal of 
political freedom is really the ideal of Islam, and is, as such, the 
rightful demand of free Muslim conscience. 

S. M. Iqbal. 



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262 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 



THE LAW OF THE THREE STAGES. 

Comte's Law of the Three Stages has often been affirmed, often 
denied or contemptuously ignored. It has very seldom been 
critically examined. Yet it should repay examination. Those 
who would pass it by as an exploded hypothesis forget that the 
general notions on which it rests have passed into ordinary thought 
and common language. The theological stage of a conception, 
the metaphysical way of looking at things, the positive method of 
science and of practice are familiar expressions which mean some- 
thing for us, and it is well that we should know what they mean 
with more exactitude. On the other hand it is hardly reasonable 
to suppose that a hypothesis advanced 80 years ago in the infancy 
of anthropology, and before all the modern development of science 
and philosophy, should stand to-day precisely where it stood then. 
Acceptance of such a miracle would in fact be more suited to the 
theological than to the positive stage. I propose here to treat the 
theory itself in the Positive spirit, examining its various parts so 
far as space allows in relation to the facts of anthropology and the 
actual development of thought. 

The outline of the theory is so well-known that a very brief 
recapitulation of Comte's original statement* will suffice here. 
Comte tells us at the outset of the Positive Philosophy that he 
believes himself to have discovered a great fundamental law to 
which the human intelligence is subjected by an invariable 
necessity. It may be established both by rational proofs furnished 
by the knowledge of our organisation, and by historical verifica- 
tions. It is that each of our principal conceptions, each branch of 
our knowledge, passes successively through three different states — 
the theological or that of fiction (fictif), the metaphysical or 
abstract, the scientific or positive. In the first stage the mind aims 
at the discovery of the intimate nature of beings, the primary and 
final causes of all the effects that strike it, and represents pheno- 
mena as produced by the direct and continuous action of super- 
natural agents greater or less in number, whose arbitrary 
intervention explains all apparent anomalies. In the metaphysical 

*I do not here attempt to deal either with the genesis of the theory (on which 
see Barth, Phil, der Geschichte als Sociologie, p. 20 — 67) nor with subsequent 
statements by Comte himself. 



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THE LAW OF THE THREE STAGES 263 

stage the supernatural agents are replaced by abstract forces, real 
entities, personified abstractions inherent in thmgs. To explain 
anything is now to assign it to the corresponding entity. This 
stage is transitional and leads up to the third or positive stage in 
which the mind recognising the impossibility of attaining absolute 
ideas renounces the investigation of the origin and destiny of the 
universe and the knowledge of the intimate causes of phenomena, 
for the discovery of their actual laws, that is, their invariable ,, 
relations of similitude and succession. Its method in this stage 
is the combination of reasoning and observation, and the explana- 
tion which it now aims at is simply the connection which science ,^ 
establishes between particular phenomena and general laws. The 
theological stage begins with many deities and rises to the concept 
tion of one, to whom all things are due. Similarly the meta- 
physical stage rises from many different entities to the single 
supreme entity of Nature, and the positive stage approaches, 
though it may not attain, the conception of a single all embracing >> 
law. The action of a sleeping draught to take the familar example, 
is referred by the theological mind to the god of sleep, by the 
metaphysical to a soporific virtue inherent in the drug, and by the 
positive is considered as a sequence of events in which a regular 
order has been observed. 

In the first two stages there is an attempt to get at the inner 
working of the thing, at the real cause and how it oi>erates. But 
in the first stage the method is frankly that of the imagination and 
the thing is supposed to be, or to be worked by, a being like our- 
selves. In the second stage the imaginary characters of this being 
are refined away and it is reduced to nothing more than a barren 
duplication of the facts observed. The soporific virtue which seems 
to explain everything is in reality nothing more or less than a 
solemn re-statement of the very fact to be explained — that sleep 
follows the administration of the drug. In the third stage these 
attempts at ultimate explanation are frankly abandoned. We give 
up the effort to know what there is in the drug which causes sleep. 
We aim at the precise description of the circumstances under which 
sleep follows on the administration of the drug, — the exact quantity 
and quality of the dose for example. It is assumed that if these 
circumstances are accurately known the sequence which has been 
observed in certain cases may be expected in others. That is to 
say, the observed relation is generalised and becomes a law. 
Lastly the law is explained when it is brought under a more general 
law and this means in the last resort that it is compared with other .. 
sequences which are found to be generally similar. 



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264 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

I do not think that anyone can follow this account without 
feeling that it at least expresses certain aspects of the movement 
of thought. How far it is adequate or accurate is another matter 
and on these questions without attempting to be exhaustive I pro- 
pose to offer a few notes. 

I . The Theological Stage. 

In Comte-s view the lowest form of religion, speaking gener- 
ally, is Fetichism which, as he uses the term, corresponds to what 
is now called Animism; above this is Polytheism, whose spirits 
no longer dwell in individual objects but are anthropomorphic 
deities controlling large groups of objects or classes of phenomena ; 
while the single god of Monotheism may be regarded in the crudest 
form of this religion as a further generalisation or unification of 
the polytheistic deities. This account would not be accepted by 
all anthropologists, but neither would it, as a rough summary, 
lack supporters. We may perhaps get a stage nearer to agreement 
if we make the character of spiritual beings the basis of our classi- 
fication and trace an ascent from the dim, half-material, imperfectly 
personified ** spirit " to the distinctly-imaged anthropomorphic 
god, and from this again to the supreme Deity whose ** person- 
ality " is held to be something more than the personality of man. 
In any case two further modifications of importance must be 
introduced into Comte's account if we are to square it with the 
results of Comparative Religion. In the first place the study of 
Brahminism and Buddhism indicates a different line of advance 
from Polytheism. In the former Polytheism merges into a mystic 
Pantheism wherein there is certainly an appreciation of the unity 
of all that is, but the form of unity is widely different from that of 
the creative controlling Providence. In the latter the whole 
theistic element tends to fall into the background. The gods 
remain, but they are of subordinate importance and interest is 
concentrated on purity of life and the laws real or supposed that 
regulate the life of sentient beings. There is indeed in early 
Buddhism more than a touch of the positive spirit in the turning 
from ultimate problems to the finding of perfection and bliss in a 
mode of life to which men may attain here on earth, and in the 
sense of universal fellowship as the medium wherein that life is to 
be led. 

Without dwelling further on this line of development, which 
was perhaps a sidetrack in human evolution, let us turn to the 
second point of criticism. Recent anthropology has shown that the 



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THE LAW OF THE THREE STAGES 265 

theory of spirits is not the only mode by which primitive man 
accounts for his experiences, nor is it the only theoretical basis of 
his cults, his observances, or his rules of conduct. Magic plays 
as large a part in primitive life as Animism. Which of the two 
is the more primitive there is not sufficient evidence to determine. 
Both are found intermingled and blended among the rudest peoples 
and both gradually assume a subordinate place in higher modes of 
thought. We must regard magic as at least coeval with Animism, 
and what is interesting to the unprejudiced student of the three 
stages is that the mode of thought which is thus equated to the 
lowest form of the theological stage recalls many features of the 
metaphysical stage. For the powers of magic, like the abstractions 
of '* metaphysics,'* are often entities, sometimes half-material, 
sometimes quasi-spiritual, often very much like spirits, if the 
expression be allowed, with the spiritual taken out of them. A 
disease, for example, can be extracted from a man in the form of 
a stone, an evil influence can be brushed off him, an impurity can 
be transferred to a sca{>egoat and driven into the wilderness, a 
toothache can be nailed into a tree. Often the boundary between 
the magical conception and the spiritual is so thin that they seem 
to pass into one another. The Erinys in Homer is an actual 
influence which may be set in motion by the appropriate person 
under appropriate conditions. But is it at bottom a spirit on whom 
the avenger calls, or is it an automatically working agency which 
the avenger controls ? It is not so easy to say. Different passages 
give us different views, and sometimes in a single passage we find 
both views contending for the mastery. 

There is no evidence in such cases to show that the magical 
entity is necessarily an attenuated spirit, or that the spirit is 
necessarily a developed and more clearly personified entity. The 
very fact that the one mode of conception passes so easily into the 
other militates against any sharp demarcation which would set 
the one before the other as a more primitive mode of thought. The 
evidence of primitive magic tends, in fact, to show that what is 
characteristic of rude thought is not a peculiar and quite inexplic- 
able tendency to personify, but rather precisely that crude blending 
of distinct categories and that loose application of unsifted 
generalisations which distinguish all rudimentary processes of 
thinking, whether among ourselves or other people. The magical 
quality that you can, as it were, pick out of one thing and transfer 
to another is imperfectly distinguished from the material object. 
The very idea of transferring sins and misfortunes may be regarded 



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266 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

as a crude generalisation from qualities like heat and cold, which 
do admit of such transference.^ The indwelling spirit of Animism 
is similarly in part a crude inference, in part a blending of ideas 
that belong to distinct categories. As an inference it extends to 
the behaviour of material things, a conception which we all hold 
to be true in relation to our fellow men, and, in a measure, of the 
lower animals.' This is a readily intelligible fancy the basis of 
which is merely a natural, but an insufficiently founded inference, 
which further experience converts. But the ** spirit " which 
primitive fancy constructs is not very ** spiritual " in our sense of 
the term. On the contrary, it is for many purposes treated as 
being itself of the nature of a thinner, more attenuated vapourous 
material — it can be beaten off, wiped away, tied fast with strin'g, 
or corked up in a bottle. It is at once too solid for our notion of 
spirit, and in another sense too fluid and changeable for our notion 
of a material thing. It is a blend of incompatible ideas. 

I conclude that the primitive stage of thought which Comte 
characterises as theologique on fictif is to be described generically 
by the second epithet rather than the first. It is pre-eminently the 
stage of uncontrolled fiction. General ideas are the distinctive 
product of human intelligence, and their function is to correlate 
exi>erience and direct action. But in the early stages of their 
development they grow up by processes which are unconscious in 
the sense of lacking method and self-criticism. Their meaning, 
their validity, their function are no subjects for enquiry. Hence 
the elements which are fused into one conception are brought 
together as the chance current of cerebral energy, the accidents of 
experience, the play of emotions may happen to direct, and the 
result when formed is so indistinctly held as to admit the fusion 
of what may be to us the most glaring incongruities. Not only is 
there no test of truth, but the bare conception of truth itself is 
wavering and dim, for sheer make-believe plays a large part, and 
the fictions of magic and Animism, if they give little guidance in 



1. Sympathetic and imitative magic, though differing from the class of oonoepta 
discussed here, are equally dependent upon a confusion of categories. (See Morals 
in Evolution, ii., pp. 15-23.) 

2. At bottom the interpretation of the behaviour of others as determined by 
thought and feeling must rest on our consciousness of our own thoughts and 
feelings. This I take to be the core around which our idea of personality grows. 
But it grows not by conscious inferences but by numberless interactions in which 
the behaviour of others and the emotions they call forth are as important as 
anything that we are aware of in ourselves. 



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THE LAW OF THE THREE STAGES 267 

action, may yield some fruit in the shape of mental comfort and 
assurance. In a word, the complex psychological forces, social 
and individual, which shape ideas are not themselves guided by 
principles. Such is the lowest form of the stage of fiction or 
imagination. It has a somewhat higher form, but this I pass over 
for the present. I will also defer what I have to say about the 
metaphysical stage, as it will be convenient first to consider the 
positive method. 

Three points may be distinguished in Comte's account of the 
positive stage in his first lecture. Two are negative. Thought 
(i) renounces the enquiry into the origin and destiny of the 
universe; (2) renounces the enquiry into the intimate causes of 
phenomena; but (3) confines itself to studying the relations of 
succession and resemblance between phenomena. 

All these characteristics have their prim& facie justification in 
the elements of meaning which the term positive suggests. Positive 
is an epithet which may be given to what is certain as opposed to 
what is doubtful, to what is observed as opposed to what is inferred, 
and so in a more general and somewhat looser sense to what is 
fact as opposed to what is theory. Now, if experience is the name 
for the totality of observed facts our positive knowledge will be 
knowledge founded on and concerning experience. But when we 
speak of thus confining knowledge to experience we may mean one 
of two things. We may mean that we know nothing beyond the 
actual range of our observation, and this at first sight is what the 
strict use of the term would suggest. A moment's consideration, 
however, shows us that such a limitation, far from establishing 
science, would destroy it. It would indeed land us in an extreme 
form of scepticism. My experience, taken in this more rigid sense, 
is what I now see and feel together with what I have seen and felt. 
If I draw any inference, use any conception that binds elements of 
experience together in general relations, or even rely on your 
testimony to your experience, I am going beyond that which I 
know from my own observation. The same remark holds for you 
and for everybody. Clearly this is not the experience which is 
intended. What is thought of is rather experience in a second and 
wider sense. There is a world or range of experience and positive 
knowledge is based on that portion which has actually fallen within 
the observation of men — ^actual experience we may call it, — but 
refers to further portions, indeed to the whole field of possible 
experience wherein its predictions are from time to time verified or 
corrected. What has been found becomes a premiss from which, 



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268 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

properly treated, we may derive a knowledge of what will be found. 
We must, as Comte himself states at the outset, combine reasoning- 
with observation, we must recognise certain connections, or at least 
certain general relations between the parts of experience which will 
enable us to use the observed as the basis for dealing with what is 
not observed as yet. At this point we come to the first and simplest 
definition of positive method, that given in the preface to the 
Course, where it is said to have for its object the "co-ordination of 
observed facts." This, if I may duplicate the epithet, is a positive 
definition of the positive method to which we may provisionally 
adhere, remarking only that it already imports into the method 
something beyond actual observation whereby the co-ordination is 
to be carried on. 

The definition is amplified in the first lecture itself by the 
statement already quoted that the positive method deals with the 
'* effective laws " of phenomena ** that is their invariable relations 
of succession and resemblance." But the point of this further 
definition lies mainly in the negations which it involves. The 
positive method is distinguished from its two predecessors by its 
abandonment of the search for the ultimate origin and purpose of 
things and for the intimate causes of phenomena. The implication 
here is plain. The ** facts " with which we deal are **phen<Mnena." 
Behind them lies the Forbidden City of the real world, wherein reside 
alike the intimate causes of all that happens and its ultimate origin 
and purpose. The older stages were filled with endless conjectures 
about this real world — fruitlessly. Our task is more modest. We 
seek to know what concerns us as men, secure in our faith in 
universal and unchanging law, but we obtain this knowledge by 
concentrating on what is practicable and recognising that the 
fundamental problems are forever insoluble. 

This conception of the limitation of all genuine knowledge 
strongly coloured the whole of Comte's philosophy. It influenced 
his definition of philosophy itself as the synthesis of the sciences. 
It determined the direction of his scientific interests and his 
valuation of progress. In particular it led to the erection of a 
•• subjective synthesis " in place of an objective synthesis as the 
ideal of effort. Experience was to be organised with a view, not 
to the discovery of the secrets of the universe, but rather to the 
furtherance of human welfare. In a word, the philosophy, ethics, 
religious and historical judgments of Comte are all in one relation 
or another influenced by this conception. But, it will be observed, 
the definition of the positive method itself rests upon certain 



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THE LAW OF THE THREE STAGES 269 

conclusions of what is in ordinary, if not in Comtean, usage .» 
metaphysics. The distinction between phenomena and reality is 
a metaphysical distinction : the denial that we can know the 
intimate causes of phenomena a metaphysical denial : the abandon- ' 
ment of speculation as to the ultimate origin or purpose of things 
the result of a metaphysical scepticism. It represents the joint ^> 
effect of Hume and Kant on the mind of the writer. Suppose now 
that we drop all this metaphysics and start afresh with the notion 
of the jjositive method given above and the implications shown to 
be involved. Suppose we keep to the conception of method, and 
let the method itself work out the results for us. What then is our 
position ? Our data are found, as we have admitted, in exf)erience. 
But whether this experience is an experience of phenomena only, 
and indeed whether there is any valid and general distinction 
between phenomena and a reality beyond them does not yet appear. 
If it is to ap{>ear at all it must be as a result of the application of 
our method, that is, ag an inference from experience itself as 
scientifically treated. The restriction to phenomena, which in 
Comte is made a basis of sound method, is not in fact a first 
principle on which method depends, but if true a result to which 
sound method brings us, and if false one which it disproves. If 
then we are to characterise the positive stage bv its method as a 
method we must not begin by attributing to it a certain theory of *' 
the limitation of our knowledge. Until the method has been 
carried through we cannot tell whether the ultimate problems are 
insoluble or the intimate processes of things hidden from us. 

The argument contemplates an application of the positive 
method to the problems of metaphysics itself.^ If such an applica- 
tion is possible, it follows that the distinction between the ** meta- 
physical " and ** positive " stages of thought, if such distinction n 
there be, must turn on a difference, not in subject matter, but in 
method. Can such a distinction be pointed out as marking a real 
advance in the history of thought? Any answer to the question 
must be tentative, but following up the hints contained in Comte*s 
classification, and keeping to the simple leading conceptions of 
positive method as a clue, I think we can find an intermediate stage 
corresponding in many of its features to the metaphysical stage of 
Comte, distinguished from the stages of fiction as being systematic "^ 

1. I muat not be taken as meaning that metaphysics is wholly positive in content. 
Under one aspect, as a valuation of thought, it may be regarded as normative. 1 
am dealing here only with such aspects of philosophy as are necessary for my 
immediate purpose. 



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270 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

and logical, and from the positive in its attitude to experience atnd 
to truth. 

According to the assumptions of the positive method the 
business of thought is to correlate or systematise experience. But 
this systematisation involves a good deal of reconstruction, for the 
empirical world often impresses us as being incoherent and 
disorderly, and to overcome these incoherencies and find an order 
upon which we can rely we are forced within the plane of common 
sense itself, and without any deep philosophical designs to allow a 
difference between appearance and reality. Reality for this 
purpose may be thought of, not as a world beyond experience, but 
as the world of experience reduced to order and harmony. But 
the conceptions formed in this process of reduction, though educed 
from experience, will not be mere reproductions of what is observed 
like so many photographs. They will rather be reconstructions in 
which the data, as originally presented to our minds, are analysed 
and combined in various ways. The further this process goes the 
more the conception ceases to be something which we can recognise 
without difficulty as a datum of common observation. In this 
respect there is a vast difference between one concept and another. 
" Chair " or " table " is as much a concept as constitutionalism or 
liberty; all four alike, according to our assumptions, are drawn 
ultimately from our experience, and, what is more important, have 
validity and meaning by reference to our experience, and are 
ultimately to be defined and tested by being equated to a mass of 
exf)erience, greater or less, complex or simple. But, whereas a 
chair can be tested by sitting upon it, the meaning and value of 
such a concept as constitutionalism may require the histories of 
several nations for several generations to determine. In a sense 
then it will be seen that the ** higher " conceptions, to distinguish 
them provisionally by that convenient epithet, are relatively remote 
from direct, immediate and easy observation. They spring from 
experiences and relate to experiences, but the relation is so indirect 
as to be easily left out of sight. 

Now as soon as the relation disappears the concepts tend to 
form a world of their own. They may be held to constitute the 
true reality, of which experience is the imperfect copy, or the 
confused presentation.^ More generally they are treated not 
indeed as independently real, but as independently valid. One or 



1. Reversely but by a fondamentally similar method of thinking they may be 
excluded from the order of existence and yet retain their truth and value. 



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THE LAW OF THE THREE STAGES 271 

more conceptions are taken as self-evident. Reasoning consists in 
deducing further conceptions from these without applying the test 
of experience and conceivability, that is, our power of forming a 
conception which will interpret a connection, is freely used as a test 
of truth. The conceptual order is not regarded as one that has 
for its function and justification the illuminating of the world of 
experience, but rather as one to which the world of experience 
must conform on pain of being pronounced unreal. To apply a 
recognised concept to an experience is to explain it though the 
concept may contain nothing to show what are the observable 
conditions under which the given experience is found. Throughout 
the value if not the very reality of the concept resides in the 
concept itself. Such appear to be the points of method which 
Comte had in mind as distinguishing the ** metaphysical " stage. 
All of them are reversed in the positive way of thinking. The 
positive concept must be equated to experience. Its value lies in 
the inter-relation of distinct parts of the empirical order which it 
effects. As an explanation it has no import except in so far as it at 
least specifies the conditions under which an experience will occur. 
The empirical order cannot be deduced from conceptions except in 
so far as they themselves are valid generalisations derived ultimately 
from the empirical order. What is conceivable depends upon what 
has been experienced and the reaction thereto of the human mind 
in accordance with the idiosyncrasies of its constitution and the 
special conditions under which it has develof)ed. No conception 
has absolute validity independently of all reference to experience, 
and the reality attributed to conceptions either means their mere 
existence within the mind, or the real character of the empirically 
given order to which they relate. 

Something like this I apprehend to be the general nature of the 
contrast between the positive method and that which Comte calls 
metaphysical. Its essence seems to be in the point that to the 
** metaphysical " mind the concept has a certain value, validity or 
reality in itself, to the positive it has this value only as relating to 
an order of reality given in experience.^ 

Two or three examples may illustrate the contrast. Comte's 
first specimen of a typically positive conception is the law of 
gravitation. This example is the more interesting because the 
same law is taken by Hegel as typical of the law which becomes 

1. If it be objected that reality is a wider conception than experience whether 
actual or possible, it may be replied that the basis and meaning of any conception 
of such reality are on the positive theory found in experience alone. 



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272 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

void in becoming generaK^ The very charge of nullity which 
positive method makes against the metaphysicians is urged by the 
great metaphysician against the chosen type of the positive method. 
Now Comte is well aware of the limits of the conception. To say 
that the law of gravitation explains the facts of gravitation he holds 
to be a fallacy. The law does not explain the facts. It is the 
accurate statement of the totality of the facts regarded as consisting 
in certain invariable relations. Partial truths may indeed be said 
to be explained in so far as they are referred to their places in the 
totality, for this reference to a place in a systematic totality is for 
the positive method the only explanation. The widest generalisa- 
tion is not an empty universal standing above the facts. It 
expresses the hierarchy of relations, from the most general to the 
most specific which the facts themselves under thorough investiga- 
tion reveal. 

In ethics and ethico-political theory, natural rights and all 
conceptions based on Nature are — not unjustly in view of their history 
— taken by Comte as metaphysical. It will be well to follow up 
this instance because it will lead to some limitations of the positive 
method which ought not to be overlooked. The term ** natural " 
is clearly enough an expression, in the first instance, for some sort 
of experience; what is common, what conforms to a type, what is 
permanent or recurrent, what is deep-rooted and real — ^all such 
notions, and perhaps others, go to compound it. It also tends to 
carry with it, which is important, a suggestion of approval and 
desirability except to those for whom the natural is the vile, to 
whom it carries the opposite suggestion. Now this notion so 
variously compounded becomes metaphysical in our sense when it 
is set up as a principle of which the application is perfectly clear 
without need of criticism, as if it required no proof and were subject 
to no test from our actual experience. Contrast it in these respects 
with the Utilitarian formula which, rightly or wrongly, is put 
forward as an expression of our actual moral consciousness, and 
avowedly stands or falls by the correctness of the analysis. It is 
easy to recognise what is meant by the metaphysical character of 
the one and the positive character of the other. 

But it may be said neither the doctrine of natural rights nor the 
Utilitarian formula state facts, but rather in the last analysis issue 
commands. They profess to say not what we think or do, but 
what we ought to think or do. They are judgments of value, not 

1 . Phaenomenologie des Qeistes, pp. 114, 115. 



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THE LAW OF THE THREE STAGES 273 

positive but normative- This is true and important. First 
principles of ethics and logic are normative. They seek to declare 
what is reasonable and lay down the rules which are to justify 
thought or action. In this sense moral philosophy is never wholly 
positive ; yet, in so far as it acquires scientific character, it involves 
methods of genuinely positive character, for example, the analysis 
and comparison of moral judgments, and its first principle 
stands the test of experience, viz., in the practical consistency with 
which it is capable of being applied and the working harmony 
which it can give to personal and social life. What more a 
normative discipline involves is too large a question for incidental 
discussion. But it may be remarked that not the least condition 
of **positivity " in moral enquiries is the very fact that the positive 
and normative are distinguished, and not fused as they are in the 
conception of the ** natural." 

The rise of the positive spirit involves something more than a 
change of method. In so far as the mind moves between conception 
and conception rather than between conception and experience, not 
only its way of reasoning but its attitude to truth is hardly yet that 
of science. They might rather be called dialectical. Truth at 
this stage consists in a clearly expressed and internally consistent 
conceptual order. Hence any revision of an important conception 
will be looked at from the point of view of the whole system, and if 
suspected of a heresy which will disturb the reigning ideas it will 
be in danger of excommunication. I do not mean that all dialec- 
ticians are uncandid, but rather that before the truly scientific stage 
is reached, while all opinions are in the flux of controversy or in the 
state of unreal hardness which comes from a premature crystallisa- 
tion, a solution suggested for any given problem is apt to be judged 
by its convenience for the whole system which the critic has in his 
mind rather than on its own merits. Provisional truth is scarcely 
admitted as a possibility. In these respects the positive method 
reverses the procedure. The first question it asks about each 
concept is whether it is an adequate formulation of some experience. 
If so it should have some value, and it remains to fit it in with . 
other conceptions. Even if two conceptions are contradictory it 
does not follow that either can be summarily dismissed. It may 
be that both contain some deposit of truth, and the problem is to 
reconcile them, or to find out where lies the exaggeration, distor- 
tion, or one-sidedness that is probably responsible for the conflict. 
Thus the positive method constantly sends back the inadequate 
conception to the facts, the dialectical seeks to kill it, and to do so 

E 



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274 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

will go a long way about to discover means of proving some 
contradictory consequences that can be deduced from it. Thus it 
is easy to see how dialectics degenerate into verbal controversy 
wherein the subtle extensions or contractions of a disputant's 
meaning beyond the original intention, the production of clever 
verbal combinations leading to new and unthought of deductions 
and all the other means of trapping the unwary become the 
principal instruments for exposing error and establishing truth. 
The rise of a study to positive rank is seen in the decay of the 
controversial interest, the diminished importance of definitions, 
the readiness to amend verbal slips and overcome differences of 
expression by a return to the real intention of words, the inclination 
to suspend judgment on doubtful points, the breaking up of 
problems and even whole sciences into specialities and the 
disinterested study of each special question for its own sake. 
Detachment of attitude, the piecemeal advance, the recognised 
necessity for correction are among the characteristics which seem 
to distinguish the scientific from the dialectical attitude, and, taken 
as a whole, they suggest not merely a change of method but of the 
attitude towards truth.^ There is no ultimate reason in the nature 
of things why the study of metaphysics should not become a 
science in thfs sense. It is at bottom a question of bringing to the 
1 study of fundamental questions the same qualities of detachment 
and intellectual self-restraint that are universally demanded in the 
historian or the laboratory worker. 

The positive method is sometimes confounded with one which 
may be called the materialistic or mechanical. This method avoids 
the mystical and even obscurantist tendency of some forms of 
metaphysics by seeking to keep very close to experience and by 
insisting on very clear-cut and well-defined conceptions. But in 
so doing it is liable to certain special errors, and in particular does 
not, as I shall show, escape one of the most serious fallacies of 

1. In the Bcienoes the dialectical method lingers longest in connection with the 
use of hypothesis. Hypothesis as a provisional arrangement of empirical data in a 
conceptual order, is indeed an absolute necessity for the advance of science. But 
the hypotheses which cause controversy are usually of another kind. They suggest 
some force, cause, or principle of connection which is to be proved not by being 
exhibited as a generalised statement of the observable relations of facts but by being 
U used as the premiss of a deduction wherein conclusions can be drawn with which 
the facts agree. A type of the first kind of hypothesis is the Newtonian law cf 
gravitation, and when Newton said that he did not invent hypotheses he meant 
hypotheses of the second kind— of the kind which loom large in popular science and 
give rise to more dialectical acuteness than detached reasoning in the controversies 
which they excite. 



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THE LAW OF THE THREE STAGES 275 

dialectic itself. In the first place, the natural tendency of a 
reaction from conceptual vagueness is to find validity only in the 
concepts which are most easily verifiable in experience — ^which in 
general will be those in which there is the least of that **work 
of the mind " which was described above. This is the source of 
the tendency of empiricists towards materialism. Similarly in the 
very demand for definiteness there lurks a danger. Experience is 
continuous, concrete, individual. Thought is discrete. From a 
mass of experience certain concepts are, as it were, precipitated. 
Taken one after another, they express the truth bit by bit. The 
first mistake of the mechanical mind is to seize one of these bits 
of truth which impresses itself as luminous and illuminating and 
set it up for the whole. This mistake is soon countered by a rival 
error which does the same with another fragment. But there is no 
improvement, for even when it is seen that both fragments have 
to be allowed for, the mechanical mind is not aware that they are 
fragments, but treats each concept quite in the dialectical spirit as 
an independent quasi-entity, and thinks that they may be combined 
and separated and re-combined all without internal modification, 
quite on the mechanical model. Now there are departments, I 
presume, in which this method is valid. Quantities may be added 
up and subtracted, forces may be compounded or divided without 
any regard to the possibility that in adding or compounding we 
are altering the nature of the quantity of the force so treated. In 
fact, so far as reality can be taken to bits and put together piece 
by piece, the mechanical system works. But as soon as it gets to 
pieces, the very nature of which is affected by other pieces, the 
method falls into fallacies. Distinguishable elements are taken as 
operating separately when in reality they determine and modify ' 
each other. The fallacy appears equally in the materialistic 
explanations which seek to resolve the higher categories into the 
lower, and in the ordinary '* metaphysical " correctives thereof. 
For example, organic processes are resolved into A, B, C, separate 
mechanical processes. When the inadequacy of the explanation is 
felt a controlling force D — some vital force or other — is invented 
and added to them. But this is merely a new force acting upon 
the rest, just like another bit of mechanism, only with less precise 
conditions of operation. The true corrective, if corrective is here 
required, to the mechanical view is the conception of the organism 
as a totality wherein all elements and all life processes modify one 



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276 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

another and lose that independence which, as genuinely mechanical 
processes, would be attributed to them.^ 

Thus, following Comte's clue, though not always adhering to 
his results, we may, if I am right, distinguish two forms of that 
transitional stage to which he gave the name of metaphysical. In 

If the one the test of experience is unduly neglected. In the other it 
is applied with a certain narrowness and hardness of view which 
defeats its own ends. The one corresponds to what Comte called 
metaphysics, the other is closely allied to what he called materialism. 
The common point in both is that behind them, if not explicitly 
stated in them, lies the way of taking the concept as a self- 
contained, self-supported entity. Openly avowed in some meta- 
physical systems, this principle haunts as we have seen very 
various applications of the dialectic method as used by thinkers 
who in principle would certainly repudiate it. Mechanical 
empiricism thinks that it has finally laid the ghost, but in reality it 
too often invokes it from the realm below. 

In this account it will be seen nothing is said or implied as to 
the results of the positive method or the scope of its application. 
There is in particular nothing to show that it is debarred from 
dealing with ultimate questions, or is concerned with a subjective 
synthesis. Its limitations, if any, are to be discovered by the 
working of the method not by the principles involved in it. To the 
student of development it is readily intelligible that what has 

/' appeared first as a myth and afterwards as a metaphysical theory 
should yet later be expressible as a positive truth. What is at one 
time a command of God may at another be recognised as a 
condition of a healthy and happy life. The positive method is 
often unexpectedly re-constructive.* 

1. It is by an analogous correction that the most careful social thinkers seek to 
restate, if not to solve, the controversies engendered by a mechanical conception of 
the state and the individual. 

2 It has been urged above that the restriction of positive method to phenomena 
^ involved a metaphysical theory. Similarly it may be added that the restriction to 
^ relations of similitude and succession involves a mechanical theory. These relations 
do not supply an adequate general formula for those which we find in experience. 
They represent no donbt an attempt to analyse the conunon categories of substance 
and attribute, structure and function, etc., into their ultimate elements. But they 
have all the failings of the forced, mechanical, definition. The truer conception of 
the positive method as applied to the foundations of science and the theory of 
knowledge is that it seeks to reconstruct on its own lines the familiar categories 
which have grown up half unconsciously in the progress of thought, by asking of 
each without prejudice what form of experience it expresses. So far as metaphysi* 
cians follow this method they are and always have been positive thinkers. 



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THE LAW OF THE THREE STAGES 277 

If the above account is correct — and at no point is it more than 
tentative — considerable modifications have to be introduced into 
Comte's fundamental law. The first stage is not purely theological, 
but involves imaginary entities more nearly resembling those which 
he called metaphysical. For us it is the stage of imagination or 
fiction. The second stage can hardly retain the name metaphysical • 
as we are not prepared to debar metaphysical questions from the 
field of positive science. Looking at its method, we may perhaps 
call it the stage of dialectic, and we find its characteristic weaknesses 
underlying the two otherwise opposed methods of metaphysical 
idealism on the one side, and mechanical materialism on the other. 
For the third stage we keep the name of positive and adhere to 
Comte's primary definition of its object as a co-ordination of 
experience, but without allowing as an axiom the contrast between 
phenomena and reality, or the resolution of all the structure of 
experience into relations of similitude and succession. Taking the 
process as a whole, I would divide it fundamentally into two parts, 
each admitting of sub-divisions. The first of these sees the evolu- 
tion of the definite universal, the second its critical reconstruction. 
Ideas arise in us as unconsciously as any other function, and we 
combine or disunite them in accordance with the play of fancy 
and feeling, and everything, however irrelevant, that creates a 
tension acting this way or that within the mind. This is the first 
or imaginative stage. The highest products of this stage are the 
living concrete images of the plastic fancy. By critical definition, 
limitation, and generalisation the image becomes a concept, and 
the systematic analysis and co-ordination of concepts yields the 
stage of thought which we have called dialectical, a stage which 
has its value as well as its fallacies. Beyond it lies the development 
of science which is in essentials a return from the concept to 
experience, a criticism of the thought which has grown up 
unconsciously in the light of the conditions of its growth. Men 
begin the search for truth, one might say, with fancy; after that ' 
they argue, and at length they try to find out. 

The positive method does not come into being fully equipped at 
a definite date. On the contrary, as Comte himself contended, it ; 
has always been in use from the days of primitive man to our own. ^' 
Similarly in the sphere of philosophy the positive method is no new 
invention. Nor is it yet a complete and perfect organon. From 
thQ days of the earliest thinkers the method of testing conceptions 
by experience has been applied side by side with the methods of 
dialectics. All we have to say here is that in proportion as the 



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278 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

treatment of a subject becomes scientific its method ceases to be 
dialectical and becomes positive.^ 

What would be the consequences to sociology if this recon- 
struction is admitted ? Comte's law is the foundation of an entire 
scheme of social development. As society passed from the 
theological to the positive stage so militarism decayed and 
industrialism grew. The order of government changed. Sociocracy 
was substituted for theocracy. The thoughts of men became 
concentrated on the improvement of human life. The higher social 
development of humanity became the foundation of true religion and 
the supreme purpose which gives meaning to effort and supplies 
a motive for morality. The more restricted sense here given to the 
law of development can hardly of itself justify such large deduc- 
tions. But two things may be said. In the first place, Comte's 
conception of intellectual development as a social process is implied 
throughout. There is no suggestion anywhere of the rise in 
humanity of a new faculty to which improved method is due. On 
the contrary, the employment of observation and legitimate 
inference therefrom is manifestly attributable to the lowest known 
savage, if not to the higher animal intelligence. The use of a 
higher method preponderates over that of others, as in the process 
of tradition and interaction conceptions are developed and experi- 
ence widens and becomes more organised. 

In the second place, the effort to give positive meaning to moral 
and social ideals must tend to bring them nearer to the actual 
working of human experience, and this prepares us for the view 
which is but an extension of Comte's, and which I believe the 
actual working out of the positive method to justify, that the 
supreme purposes of religion and morals are to be found in the 
living process of evolution. It is not indeed possible to understand 
fully the emergence of the positive method itself except by reference 
to the stages through which this growth has passed hitherto. 
Nor can sociological, ethical and philosophical principles be 
properly criticised until they are seen to be products of a develop- 
ment, nor can ideals for the future be framed to regulate our 

1. The rise of the positiye method so considered has its place in a more general 
law of mental evolution. The lower stages of this evolution, in which the animal 
world remains, do not employ general conceptions. The rise of these conceptions 
and their advance in definiteness and comprehension constitutes the first great stage 
of human advance. So far the growth of thought is still spontaneous and uncritical. 
The second stage, regarded from the point of view of method, is that of the self 
criticism of thought, and of this the positive method (of reducing all conceptions to 
the experience which they express) is the basis. 



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THE LAW OF THE THREE STAGES 279 

present conduct unless regard is had to the conditions under which 
progress is possible. That we are creatures of a development 
which has been unconscious and stand at the point at which it 
begins to understand itself and so to become self-directing is the 
central conception of Comte's sociology which the criticism of 
method only serves to confirm and extend. 

L. T. HOBHOUSE. 



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280 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 



SOCIOLOGICAL VIEW OF THE HISTORY OF IRELAND. 

Western civilisation, if it presents many national diversities, 
has also some fundamental characteristics, overriding national 
differences. The people of Western Europe have a common 
heritage derived from the early civilisation of their Aryan fore- 
fathers; they are the sociological heirs of Greek intellect, of 
Roman civic order, of the Catholic and Feudal life of the medieval 
period, of the great revolution of the last five centuries, out of 
which has sprung the world of modern science and industry. In 
other words, the West has had a continuous and common life in 
which its constituent parts have had their share, each in its degree, 
in accordance with its situation and its powers, aiding in the 
general evolution. Therefore, in order to study the history of any 
particular nation to the best advantage, it is necessary to keep this 
evolution in mind, so as to separate what is common to all or to 
most from what is peculiar to any one or any group. This is the 
first simplification which the study of history from the sociological 
standpoint allows ; and without this simplification history becomes 
a chaos. If a movement such as feudalism for instance, is found 
in many countries, its antecedents must be sought in characteristics 
common to all, in the general development of Western Europe, 
and not in the special circumstances of any one nation. Those 
special circumstances can only explain differences of time at which 
a particular stage of development was reached, or dififerences in the 
details of organisation. Each nation of Western Europe is a unit 
in the general life of the West, an organ of that body, partaking in 
and subordinate to the general life, but also living its own life, 
affecting and being affected by its fellow members, subject to its 
own diseases, and specially occupied with those functions for which 
it is best fitted or which are most necessary to its own existence. 
There are, indeed, some marked dififerences between Sociological 
and Biological organisms — the connection of parts and specialisa- 
tion of functions being carried much further in the latter. But 
each nation of the West partakes in the common civilisation of the 
whole, acts on its fellow nations and is acted on by them, and 
performs with diflferent degrees of specialisation and intensity the 
various functions of the common life. In the same way the West 
has its part in the general civilisation of mankind, and is an organ 



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VIEW OF THE HISTORY OF IRELAND 281 

of that greater but still more loosely organised body which is made 
up of all the nations and races of men. 

It is in the light of this simplification that the history of Ireland 
must be viewed ; and so viewed, it will like all extreme cases, like 
all crucial instances, be found peculiarly rich in sociological 
material. It is, in its earlier history, a nation from its geogra- 
phical position less affected by the movements of its neighbours 
or the general course of development than any other. It thus 
retained to an unusual extent the characteristics of the ancient 
Aryan civilisation, once common to all Europe, and was peculiarly 
homogeneous in itself, and markedly separate from its neighbours. 
This distinction was maintained, in spite of one serious breach, the 
introduction of Christianity — till the first invasion from the island 
larger, richer, and closertothecentresof Western civilisation, which 
lay between it and the continent of Europe. And if the earlier 
history of Ireland is of interest as the case of a Western people 
growing up in comparative isolation, the later history has an even 
stronger interest. It is that of a people peculiarly homogeneous 
and distinctive in their civilisation exposed to a continuous pressure 
from a country possessing far greater resources and in some 
respects much further developed, an era of isolation followed by 
an era of domination, a civilisation of peculiar strength subjected 
to an external pressure of peculiar intensity and continuance. And 
just as the physician eagerly examines some case of bodily disease 
unexampled in intensity, so may the Sociologist find that it will 
repay him to examine this conflict between a strongly marked 
civilisation and the outside forces arrayed against it. 

Ireland, safe in isolation, was never conquered by Rome : it 
therefore never experienced the compulsion of Roman order, nor 
did it even inherit, like medieval England, such material legacies 
as the Roman roads, which long survived the power of their 
creators. There was, no doubt, even in Roman times, same trade 
with the outer world; and in Mrs. Button's version of the famous 
Irish epic, the Tdin Bo Cuailngne, we read of exiles from Ulster 
taking refuge on the neighbouring coasts of Scotland, and of 
young warriors sent for training still further afield — perhaps even 
to Greece and Scythia. Later on, missionaries converted the Irish 
to Christianity, the main influence by which Ireland was kept in 
touch with the rest of the Western world; but even the great 
conversion affected the old civilisation very slowly. Tradition 
declares that the new teachers respected the old law — the Law of 
Nature — ^save where it directly conflicted with the Law of the Letter, 



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282 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

the new gospel. The exemption of women from military service 
is attributed to as late a date as the year 697. The Saxons never 
reached Ireland, and the main force of the Danish invasions was 
spent before they reached the Irish coast. Thus while England 
underwent a Roman occupation of several centuries, a Saxon 
settlement, continual Danish invasions, and finally a conquest by 
the Normans, who had already assimilated the Roman civilisation 
of France, all in addition to the introduction of Christianity, 
Ireland was free from foreign influence except such as was involved 
in the change of religion and in a few Danish settlements confined 
to the coasts. In the years immediately succeeding the Norman 
Conquest, the closeness of the connection between England and the 
Continent immensely increased. The English kings had large 
continental dominions and they reorganised the land tenure of 
England on a new feudal pattern, while Ireland retained almost 
unbroken its old institutions. When Lanfrance was appointed 
Archbishop of Canterbury, it was said that he was called to be 
primate of another world. But great as were the differences between 
England and the Continent, they were as nothing to those which 
separated Ireland from England. 

There was, however, another geographical feature of the 
country, besides its isolation, which profoundly affected its future 
destiny. Ireland consists of a great central plain almost surrounded 
by ranges of mountains, which in general closely approach the 
coast. The result was that the Northmen who swarmed over the 
Eastern parts of England, and made their way up the great rivers 
of France, did not venture in Ireland to settle where the mountains 
would cut them off from the sea. They left the interior plain 
almost undisturbed, and contented themselves with establishing 
settlements on the coasts. 

These geographical conditions affected the course of Irish 
civilisation in other ways. The development was slow. Had the 
human race consisted of a single tribe confined to a single island, 
there would have been some progress, for there would have been 
some accumulations of wealth and knowledge; but deprived of 
the compelling or stimulating effect of contact with other civilisa- 
tions, which has been a main cause of the rapid progress of Europe, 
the advance would have been very slow, and it would have been 
very difficult to pass from one stage of civilisation to another. 
Ireland was not in this position. But it approached more nearly 
to it than any other part of Western Europe, and therefore its de- 
velopment in some important respects was much behind its neigh- 



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VIEW OF THE HISTORY OF IRELAND 283 

hours. This will he seen if we consider (i) the land question, and 
(2) the progress towards a single national government. As regards 
the first, it is sufficient to note that when in the seventeenth century 
an English lawyer, Sir John Davies, examined the old Irish tenures, 
still surviving in some parts of the country, he found what we can 
see was not merely something representing an earlier state than 
existed in England, but even earlier than that which existed in 
Wales, when we first get a glimpse of the Welsh tenures, them- 
selves archaic compared with those of the richer part of the island. 
Mr. Frederick Seebohm puts it thus in the chapters of his ** English 
Village Community" in which he has sought light from Ireland 
(p. 229):— 

*' Returning now to the main object of the inquiry we seem 
in the perhaps to some extent superficial and too simple view 
taken by Sir John Davies of the Irish tribal arrangements, to 
have found what we sought — to have got a glimpse in the six- 
teenth and seventeenth centuries of an earlier stage in the 
working of the tribal system than we got in Wales nearly a 
thousand years earlier. In this stage the land in theory was 
still in tribal ownership, its redistribution among the tribesmen 
was still frequent, and arable agriculture was still subordinate 
to pasture. Lastly, the arithemetical clustering of the home- 
steads was the natural method by which the frequent redistri- 
butions of the land were made easy ; while the run-rig form of 
the open field system was the natural mode of conducting a 
co-operative and shifting agriculture." 

From the failure of the Irish to form a central government with 
. real power, for the Kingship of Ireland represented an aspiration 
rather than a fact, inferences very derogatory to the Irish have 
been drawn. But it is easily explained. The slow growth of the 
centralised states of Europe has been assisted by outward pressure. 
The border states or those most exposed to foreign aggression have 
grown strong and warlike out of all proportion to those of their 
neighbours who had less fighting to do. The Kings of Wessex 
only made their over-lordship a reality, when they had saved 
England from the Danes ; and it is no accident that in our own 
time the unification of Germany has fallen to the representatives 
of the Margraves of Brandenburg. Now in Ireland there were no 
marches, the sea and mountains protected all alike. The settle- 
ments of the Danes were not sufficiently formidable and were too 



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284 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

scattered, to give any one of the Irish Kingdoms that constant 
training in arms and that prestige of victory which would have 
enabled it to subdue the others. In any case, these invasions 
ceased before the unification was accomplished, and Ireland was 
left divided to meet a still more dangerous enemy. 

But even if some outward appearance of unity had arisen it 
could not have been a unity of the kind existing in England. As 
we have seen in considering the land tenure of Ireland, the 
organisation of society was still tribal, and any Irish Kingdom 
which might have been formed could only have been a collection of 
tribes. 

Irish history is full of apparent contradictions, and not the least 
of these is found in the contrast between the backwardness of 
temporal organisation as regards government and the tenure of 
land and on the other hand the advanced state of learning during 
many centuries. A comparison with the case of Greek intellectual 
development as explained by Comte may help us to understand the 
somewhat similar case of Ireland. In communities organised for 
war, where that was the main activity of free citizens, the best 
intellect of the country was devoted to supporting the state in its 
career of conquest. But in Greece, the formation of a great empire 
was impossible ; for in early times such an empire must arise from 
continuous accretions to a nucleus, and the physical features of 
the country rendered this impossible. It was difficult for small 
states separated by sea and mountain to conquer, easy to avoid 
being conquered, and even when conquest took place, complete 
incorporation was impossible. War, therefore, became, not a career 
of conquest, but a series of barren contests. There was mental 
stimulus without complete absorption in military pursuits. 
Military civilisation prevented the rise of theocracy, and gave 
opportunity for personal initiative. It allowed freedom. But it 
did not absorb all energies as in early Rome. And thus men were 
found to devote themselves to intellectual pursuits. The civilisa- 
tion of Ireland, whether we regard the varied elements within, or 
the variety of stimuli from without, was far inferior to that of early 
Greece; but the main condition was the same — a. people in a war- 
like state, yet denied the possibility of conquest. Even before the 
introduction of Christianity there had been much poetry and the 
poet had been held in honour. The new religion gave a new turn 
to men's thoughts. To the petty local contests which had so little 
result was opposed the conception of a life devoted to learning and 
piety and consecrated by the Church Universal. The influence of 



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VIEW OF THE HISTORY OF IRELAND 28$ 

Christian literature and philosophy gave the required stimulus; 
and Ireland free by her position from the necessity of defence or 
the hopes of conquest, undisturbed by the barbarian, became the 
refuge of Christian learning. If the balanced power and the tribal 
organisation of Ireland prevented the formation of a strong Irish 
kingdom, so much the more readily did the best minds in Ireland 
devote themselves to the building up of the Universal Church, 
whether as scholars in their own Abbeys or as missionaries beyond 
the sea. Ireland became the school of Christendom. 

This period of intellectual splendour had been already some- 
what dimmed by the Danish invasions, when the beginning of 
English interference gave a new turn to Irish life. Henceforward, 
the conflict between the two civilisations, the one so rich and power- 
ful, the other so strongly marked as a result of its long isolation, 
concentrated all energies in the country that was to be the battle- 
ground. The stage was set for one of the great tragedies of human 
history. 

This diversity of civilisation was not the only cause of the 
failure of Feudalism to take root in Ireland after the English 
invasion. Something was also due to the stage of development or 
of decay which feudal institutions had reached in the twelfth 
century ; for it is difficult to transplant to a new social environment 
an institution which has already lost its power in its original home. 
At the beginning of the eleventh century, feudalism was still full of 
life. Though, in Northern France,where it had reigned longest, 
the commutation of services for money, which was eventually to 
reduce the feudal lords to mere rent-receivers had begun, their 
extreme political independence seemed the great danger. It was, 
therefore, possible for Saint Stephen of Hungary to introduce an 
improvd Feudalism into his kingdom, in which this abuse should 
be remedied : and it was possible for William the Conqueror to 
follow in the same way fifty years later. But the Crusaders could 
only set up in Jerusalem, the perfect but lifeless form of a feudal 
monarchy. Ireland came later still; and there the institutions of 
feudalism, already in decay, found themselves face to face with the 
deeply-rooted tribal institutions of the Irish. When and where 
the Anglo-Norman Barons were supported by the English govern- 
ment, they made some show of retaining English manners and 
laws ; when and where they were left to themselves, they found it 
much easier to govern by Irish methods. In that case the people 
were prepared to give them the same loyalty as they had given to 
their old tribal chiefs. The Anglo-Norman lords became, as the 



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286 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

saying was, ** More Irish than the Irish," and Irish civilisation 
gained its first victory. 

Here, indeed, was one of the standing difficulties of the English 
task. Feudal governments could only work through feudal 
institutions. The more centralised monarchies that grew up in the 
fifteenth and sixteenth centuries were at first an almost insupport- 
able weight to the countries they ruled and could spare little for 
the conquest or management of distant dependencies. Individual 
or collective emigration had to be resorted to ; and as soon as the 
settlers were left to themselves, they found themselves in presence 
of a civilisation far more primitive, but far more deeply rooted than 
their own. To become Irish was the line of least resistance. In 
the fourteenth century, we find a distinction made between the 
English by blood and the English by birth, and the former excluded 
from office like the mere Irish. Later on the same process was 
found to have been at work with the adventurers under the Tudors, 
at least those who made Ireland their home, and with men of a 
different class, the more popular element who formed the plantations 
under James I. If any settlers could have remained unaffected, it 
would have been the Puritan officers and soldiers who received 
confiscated lands in Ireland in payment for their services; yet by 
the eighteenth century, the descendants of the rank and file were 
scarcely distinguishable from their neighbours, while the families 
of many Cromwellian officers took a prominent part with the other 
Protestant landowners in securing the temporary independence of 
the Irish Parliament. 

The Reformation added a new difference to the many differences 
already existing between England and Ireland. The latter 
adhered to the old religion, in contradiction to the general course 
followed by the Northern nations. Those who affirm that 
Protestantism was an outcome of superior enlightenment will find 
that the proposition involves great difficulties. They will have to 
prove that Germany and Scotland were intellectually in advance of 
the Italy of the Renaissance. Those on the other hand who insist 
that the Reformation sprung from material considerations only, 
such as the drain of wealth to Rome, are met by the difficulty that 
these material disadvantages were of old standing. The causes 
were much more complex. Generally speaking. Protestantism was 
only successful in those countries which had never been thoroughly 
incorporated in the Roman Empire, and where as a consequence 
the spirit of discipline and subordination was less marked. This 
was the necessary condition of a successful religious revolt. But 



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VIEW OF THE HISTORY OF IRELAND 287 

to set the revolt going it was also necessary that there should be 
some material advantage to be gained either for the people as a 
whole or for particular classes — stoppage of the drain of wealth to 
Rome, confiscation of the estates of the clergy. And as this was 
justified by an appeal from the authority of the Church to the 
records of primitive Christianity, it was necessary that there should 
be a considerable diffusion of knowledge and intellectuial interest, 
but not too much — not so much as to take the mind away from 
theological enquiries to the classical revival, and the study of Greek 
science and art. All these conditions were found throughout 
Northern Europe, and the North became Protestant. They were 
absent in Southern Europe, and the South remained Catholic. 

Now to this rule, Ireland is an exception — the only important 
one if we leave Poland out of account, the extreme post of medieval 
Europe, always face to face with the non-Catholic population of 
Russia. In Ireland a new condition was present. The absence of 
a centralised state, and later the presence of a foreign power gave 
the Church an importance and an influence which it did not possess 
elsewhere. For many ages it reigned without a rival. And as it 
had existed before the English invasion, it could claim to be exempt 
from the suspicion attaching to institutions introduced from Eng- 
land. But this was not all. One of the strongest incitements to a 
breach with Rome was absent. It was not the drain to Rome but 
the drain to England that affected Ireland; and as the Irish saw 
all the richest ecclesiastical preferments given to Englishmen, it 
was of no consequence to them if this English monopoly was 
occasionally infringed for the benefit of a Papal nominee. Above 
all, when England changed her religion, there was a new reason 
for Ireland to keep in the old ways. Ireland remained Catholic 
because England was Protestant. The particular relations between 
the two countries determined the attitude of the weaker to the 
general European movement. It has, indeed, been asserted by 
enthusiastic Catholics that there is a peculiar harmony between the 
Irish national character — considered as some eternal and unchang- 
ing entity — and the Catholic faith. The Irish character, for 
reasons already mentioned has an unusual fixity; but the old 
Gaelic poems show that in many respects, notably as regards 
chastity and the ideal of womanhood, the Irish of the days before 
St. Patrick held very different views to those of their descendants. 
The harmony between the Catholic Irish and their religion is due 
to the position of the Church during many ages; to the [weakness 
of the State in the old times, and still more to the independence of 



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288 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

the Church in the last three centuries. Since the Reformation, a 
new difference has been added to those already existing between the 
two nations, and the Catholic Church has been cherished with a new 
fervour as the one institution out of the conqueror's power. It is 
from that time that we may date the occasional appeal from England's 
authority to the world outside. Previous to the Reformation, 
though an appeal to Rome was open to the Irish, it was open to the 
English as well, and the English of the Pale on one occasion 
unsuccessfully appealed to the Pope to proclaim a crusade against 
the native Irishry who were described as worse than the Saracens. 
But after the Reformation, the English had no place in the Catholic 
Church ; and the Catholic religion was endeared all the more to the 
Irish because it had to be loved in suffering and sacrifice. Whether 
this adherence to Catholicism was ultimately beneficial to the Irish, 
is another question. It made the assimilation of English settlers 
more difficult, and in later times opened a way for the policy of 
"Divide et impera" by means of the Protestant minority. But 
it rendered all attempts at assimilating Ireland to England still 
more certain of failure. 

Nor did the English succeed in assimilating the Irish land 
system to their own. As we saw, in the view of Mr. Seebohm, the 
Irish land tenure at the beginning of the seventeenth century was 
more than a thousand years behind that of Wales, which in turn 
was more primitive than that of England. ** Booleying," or the 
migration of the family and their cattle to the hills in summer — for 
the analogue of which in modern times we must go to the utmost 
bounds of civilisation, to the semi-nomads described by Leplay on 
the border-lands between Europe and Asia — still existed. To 
Edmund Spenser, Sir John Davies, and other English observers, 
the whole system of native law seemed, as they said of that special 
iniquity, the fine for murder, " contrary to God's law and man's." 
They did not know that the punishing of murder by a fine had once 
been universal in the West, and was a part of the old common law 
which had survived in Ireland alone. The great aim of the 
English lawyers in Ireland was to substitute English law and 
English land-tenures for the Irish. On paper, they succeeded* 
But the Irish never accepted the English laws relating to land. 
They never recognised the unlimited property of the landlord. 
And in our times, painfully and with many experiments, we have 
had to set up other tenures which, if they no longer, in face of the 
complete disappearance of tribal organisation, restored the old 
tribal ownership, at least gave that interest in the land and that 



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VIEW OF THE HISTORY OF IRELAND a89 

security of unexhausted improvements to the cultivator which had 
been a part of the old system. In the slow development of human 
institutions, it is not necessary that the more backward peoples 
should repeat every step of the pioneers. On the contrary, it is 
often possible when the goal is perceived, to benefit by the experi- 
ence of others and reach by it a shorter way or at least to lose less 
on the road. Is it fanciful to suggest that the success of the 
Irish farmers in co-operative agriculture may be due to the retention 
of some of those qualities which distinguish the period of tribal 
organisation, and which have been largely lost by those nations 
that have been trained under a system of industrial individualism ? 

Ireland presents a series of extraordinary contradictions, at once 
Catholic and yet as a result of its opposition to English rule revolu- 
tionary, backward in industrial organisation and yet a pioneer in 
agricultural co-operation; but the greatest contradiction of all is 
the persistance of national life amidst all discouragements in a 
people that never reached national unity under an independent 
government. Such a government would have arisen, though 
slowly, if foreign interference had been absent. By the English 
invasions every possible nucleus of such unity was destroyed. 
But the civilisation of Ireland was so persistent, so hcnnogeneous, 
was the product of such an unbroken evolution, that it could neither 
be supplanted or assimilated by the civilisation of England, more 
advanced, but drawn from varied sources, and with its varied 
strands still imperfectly harmonised. On the contrary, the succes- 
sive waves of English settlement were assimilated by the Irish; 
and there grew up an Ireland — no longer of pure Irish blood — ^but 
yet with strongly marked national characteristics which were not 
those of England. The typical Irishman of literature has not been 
derived from the Catholic peasant, with his life of hard toil, and 
his sense of injustice, but rather from the Protestant squireen of 
the eighteenth century — before the evangelical movement had made 
Irish Protestants serious — ^jovial and careless, who had as forcible 
methods for dealing with process-servers, debt-collectors, and other 
obnoxious representatives of law and order, as have ever been 
resorted to by the tenants of his more respectable successors. 

The persistence of the national consciousness of Ireland in face 
of the more powerful nationality of England is a remarkable socio- 
logical fact. Nor is its significance in any way diminished by the 
existence in a part of Ulster of an industrial and Protestant popula- 
tion who profess some political hostility to their fellow-countrymen. 
The protection afforded to the linen-trade, when other Irish industries 



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apo THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

were destroyed, has indeed given that part of Ireland some peculiar 
features, which may long remain, but the distinction of religions 
as a consequence of the general course of the evolution of human 
thought in the intellectual sphere, and the growth of religious 
equality and tolerance in the political and moral, is becoming of less 
and less importance. Ulster cannot claim — nor even the North- 
East portion of Ulster — ^to be considered a separate nation. 
Protestant Ulster has no separate territory, no distinctive national 
consciousness of long duration. Little more than three generations 
ago Belfast was the strongest centre of the United Irishmen. But 
still less does it partake of English nationality. In no part c^ 
Ireland would a proposal to assimilate the land-laws to those of 
England be more sturdily resisted. It remains a province of 
Ireland with some distinctive industrial conditions. 

On the other hand, Ireland as a whole, has a strongly marked 
territory, bounded by the sea, a national consciousness of long 
duration, and a very distinct national character. Like other 
nations, it has differences of religion and politics within its borders ; 
but it has two characteristics, which are only found where the 
national feeling is rooted deep, the power to assimilate foreign 
elements even when introduced in large numbers, homogeneous 
among themselves, and the power to retain the affection of its 
emigrants to other countries. The explanation of this persistance 
of nationality can only be found in a study of Irish history — in the 
long period of isolation which preceded the long period of foreign 
interference. 

S. H. SWINNY. 



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NON-CONTRIBUTORY PENSIONS 29X 



DISCUSSIONS. 



OLD AGE PENSIONS. 

I. The Dangers of the Non-Contributory Principle. 

Ought every man and wom^n to be assured of adequate provi- 
sion for his or her maintenance when past work through old age? 
There can be but one possible answer to that question, and that is 
in the affirmative. How is that assurance to be obtained ? There 
is again but one answer: — through thrift, self-denial, and fore- 
thought in youth and during the years of working life. 

Conclusive as this answer is, it does not appear to satisfy the 
generality of people, and the House of Commons has just affirmed, 
by a majority of 417 to 29, that there is another answer. The 
Prime Minister roused them to enthusiasm by an appeal, the 
sophistry of which is concealed by its splendid eloquence : — 

** There is no Parliamentair short-cut to the millennium. 
But are we, because of the difficulties and because of the com- 
plexity of the task, to sit still, with dumb lips and with folded 
arms and bewildered brains and palsied energies, while this 
great procession of the poor and necessitous and unbefriended 
linger out the last days of lives the strenuous years of which 
have been given to the service of industry and of the State ? 
We say not, and we ask the House to say not, but to take 
the first step towards the accomplishment of this great and 
beneficent work." 
This first step is a proposal to grant a free pension out of public 
funds to every person above the age of seventy, subject to certain 
discriminatory conditions. It is to be followed by other successive 
steps, which will by degrees lower the age at which the pension is 
to begin, relax the conditions, increase the pension in amount, and 
apply it to the circumstances of those who are disabled from 
working by invalidity, whatever their age may be — each of those 
successive steps greatly increasing the sum required from the public 
funds to meet the cost. If the bottom is ever reached, the tax- 
paying portion of the community will be impoverished, in order 
that the pension-receiving portion may be relieved of the necessity 
of exercising the virtues of thrift, self-denial, and forethought. 
The great procession of the poor, and necessitous, and unbe- 
friended will be reinforced at every stage by a new contingent, 
until self-reliance and independence cease to be regarded as praise- 
worthy, and the very motive which leads men to spend strenuous 
years in the service of industry — namely, the desire by that means 
to provide for the future as well as for the present — ceases to 
operate. 

The sophism which lies at the base of Mr. Asquith's eloquent 
appeal is that those who have spent these strenuous years have 
earned by their labour a sum which is insufficient to enable them 
to provide for the future — perhaps, indeed, insufficient to provide 



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292 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

for their due maintenance according to a reasonable standard of 
living during the working years; and that it is the duty of the 
State to make up that deficiency. That is the very vicious principle 
upon which the old Poor Law was shipwrecked. Supplement 
insufficient wages by doles out of public funds. The man who is 
not paid for his work the full value of all that that work takes out 
of him — ^future as well as present — is not paid enough for his 
work, and ought to be paid more. His is a sweated industry, and 
everything the State pays to him is really paid to his employer, 
the sweater, who is the true pauper and ought to bear the taint of 
pauperism. How it is that the labour party, who are the strongest 
advocates of the system of free pensions,, do not see that their 
contention is ruinous to the independence of the workmen they 
represent, and can only tend to lead them to accept inadequate pay 
for the benfit of the employer, I cannot understand. The proces- 
sion of the poor and necessitous, therefore, consists either of those 
who have had insufficient pay, which the State ought not, in their 
interest, to supplement ; or those who have had sufficient pay, and 
have spent on the present that portion of it which belonged to the 
future. When these two classes fall out the remaining procession, 
that of the unbefriended, will not be a long one. As Mr. Mackay 
says, the proposal to make the maintenance of old age, in part at 
all events, a public and no longer a private charge is a revolu- 
tionary change in our social economy. In many cases., the pension 
paid to the aged will be treated as a discharge from responsibility 
by children, who ought to support their parents, employers, who 
ought to pension their old servants, friends, who ought to prove 
their friendship, charitable people, who desire to relieve distress 
and to show kindness — who now exercise their several functions 
to the good of giver and receiver alike, and for whom the State will 
substitute a pension officer and his staff. 

Much of the discussion of the question has turned upon the 
distinction between contributory and non-contributory schemes. 
These terms do not quite accurately define the point at issue. All 
pension funds must be raised by contribution. The * 'contributory" 
scheme is one in which that contribution is made by or on behalf 
of the person who requires the pension. The ** non-contributory " 
is one in which that contribution is made by the taxpayer and no 
contribution, beyond that which the pensioner may have made by 
way of taxes, is required for the specific purpose of obtaining the 
pension. There are objections common to both contributory and 
non-contributory schemes so far as they involve State-action. The 
contributory plan provides for old age by means of the purchase 
of a deferred annuity. That purchase involves the sinking of the 
money paid on a contingency that may never happen. It is a 
common mistake, with regard to contingent assurances of this 
kind, that the premiums ought to be returned, or some other 
payment made, in the event of death before the pension age has 
been attained, and that the man who dies has forfeited or lost the 
money he has paid. That is not so : there is no such thing as a 
returnable premium in a contingent assurance. The man who 
insures against fire, or accident, or shipwreck, knows that, and 
does not ask for his money Back when the risk is over: — but the 
man who assures a deferred annuity cannot understand it, and the 



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NON-CONTRIBUTORY PENSIONS 293 

plan adopted by annuity companies and by the Government of 
granting what are called returnable premium policies for an extra 
premium tends to bewilder him. The fact is, that in both cases, 
the premium for the deferred annuity is absolutely sunk; the 
premiums returned at death are the equivalent of the extra premium 
charged, for what is in reality an entirely separate transaction. 
This may be easily shown by supposing the non-returnable annuity 
to be insured in one Company, A, and the payment at death of a 
sum equivalent to the premiums in another Company, B. If the 
man died^ A would pay nothing, and B would pay the sum at 
death. If the man lived, A would pay the pension and B would 
pay nothing. The necessary sinking of the money makes the 
purchase of a deferred annuity an unpopular investment. 

As there are many other ways of providing for old age, the 
proposal that people should purchase a deferred annuity from the 
State, especially if coupled with a State subsidy, has a tendency 
to induce people to prefer that particular form of investment to 
others that might be more suitable to their circumstances, and to 
interfere by competition with private enterprise. That has, in 
fact, been already done : — during the last 55 years, the Govern- 
ment has kept open a shop for the sale of deferred annuities. 
Though it gives no subsidy, and only allows in pensions the 
equivalent of 2^ per cent compound interest on the money paid to 
it, it has succeeded in attracting 3000 customers, who have bought 
pensions averaging 8s. a week each (they cannot buy more than 
20S. ) finding the absolute guarantee granted by the Government 
more attractive than the higher pension they could get from an 
annuity company without that guarantee. With regard to every 
contract for the purchase of a deferred annuity, it is to be noted 
that only two contingencies are involved — that of survivorship to 
the time when the pension is to begin, and that of earning through- 
out all the long time during which the contract lasts the full rate 
of interest required to provide the pension. Anyone may buy a 
pension of a friendly society or insurance company, but only the 
Government can enter into such a contract with an absolute guar- 
antee that this condition will be fulfilled. There is therefore some- 
thing to be said for the proposal that the business which the 
Government has been carrying on for the last 55 years should be 
continued and extended. To be of any real use, however, far 
better terms would have to be offered to the public. There is 
precedent for that, for in past years. Government has allowed to 
savings banks and to friendly societies who have entrusted it with 
their funds a rate of interest exceeding that which it has earned; 
and the deficiency has been voted by Parliament. We suggest 
that Government should raise the 2^ per cent which it now offers to 
4 per cent, and that that excess should be voted annually by Parlia- 
ment. While this plan is admittedly open to the objections that 
have been stated, we think it open to less objection and likely to 
do less harm than any other plan. 

The special advantage of a contributory over a non-contributory 
system is that it gets rid of the whole business of discrimination, a 
difficulty which must beset every plan of free pensions until bottom 
has been reached, and pensions become universal. The only safe 
discrimination is that which a man exercises on his own behalf. 



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294 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

If he thinks he wants a pension, and is willing to pay for it, there 
can be no question whether he deserves it or not; for it is his. It 
cannot be withheld and it cannot be revoked. 

As Mr. Mackay has said with great force in the excellent letter 
we have already quoted, the most important consideration is — how 
the policy of free pensions will affect the character of the poor. If 
personal responsibility can be abolished without fear of a disastrous 
relaxation of the obligations that bind men to work out their own 
future, there is no intelligible reason for confining this principle 
to the treatment of old age. ** There are many other risks of life 
to which the same measure must logically be applied, and without 
doubt an irresistible agitation will be set on foot to increase the 
amounts and multiply the occasions on which public money must 
be expended. If because it may be difficult for a poor man to 
maintain his independence in this or any other vicissitude of life 
we are therefore to withdraw the whole series of life's obligations, 
as at present understood, from the individual and to make the 
State responsible for their discharge, the whole training ground " 
on which men have hitherto been forced to acquire habits of self- 
reliance '^ is closed, and a momentous change in the discipline and 
education of the nation must inevitably follow. This is a step in 
a much larger revolution, for which, it is submitted, the country 
is by no means prepared, and the beginning of a change, which 
all who regard character and thrift as necessary contributory 
elements in the comfort and happiness of the mass of the people, 
should strenuously resist." 

Edward Brabrook. 



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OLD AGE PENSIONS ags 



II. The Responsibility of the State to the Aged Poor. 

In considering the social significance of the government scheme 
of Old Age Pensions I do not propose to dwell upon even the more 
important provisions of the scheme relating to age, amount of 
pension, or disqualifications, but to confine myself to an exposition 
and defence of what I conceive to be the social principle and policy 
which it embodies. That society, through the instrument of 
g^overnment, has an obligation to safeguard its interests by offering 
public relief to destitute persons is a principle already expressed 
in our Poor Law. In the case of aged or otherwise weak or infirm 
persons such relief is not accompanied by any labour test, and in 
the case of out-door paupers it is a money payment as a public 
provision against starvation. But this public relief has been 
accompanied by inquisition, political disqualification and by other 
brands of personal degradation. 

The present proposal secures to all aged needy persons a right 
to receive public support free from any obligation to make any 
special contribution to the fund for which payment is made and 
from any formal degradation attached to the receipt of such sup- 
port. 

This new personal right is created by the State upon two 
grounds, first, that it is detrimental to the Social welfare that a 
number of aged men and women should be living in want and 
misery, secondly that such public provision is the most efficacious 
mode of stopping or reducing this social injury. There is, as I 
conceive, no acknowledgment of any •* right" natural to or inhe- 
rent in the individual to demand that Society or the State shall 
relieve him of an obligation to support himself : the right is created 
or conceded by Society for its own protection and gain. 

The State is to be the instrument for the provision of a pension, 
and there is to be no contribution on the part of the recipients. 
These two conditions require particular consideration. If it is the 
interest of Society to secure that all old people shall escape destitu- 
tion, the State must either provide or guarantee the pension, for 
no private or corporative investment on the part of workers can 
furnish such security. 

Provision by means of regular voluntary contributions of 
individual workers to Friendly Societies and other instruments c^ 
private thrift will not secure the result. For, in the first place, such 
contributions are impracticable, or, as regards a large section of 
the workers, if practicable, they are not defensible on true grounds 
of domestic economy. The wages of a large proportion of adult 
male workers, when they are in regular employment, are not in fact 
sufficient to enable them to set aside even a small weekly sum 
against old age without im]>airing their expenditure on objects to 
which a prior importance attaches, viz., the maintenance of them- 
selves in a standard of efficiency, the proper rearing of such a 
family as is required to maintain the national supply of labour- 
power, and the provision against sickness and other emergencies 
which are entitled to take precedence of old age as claims for such 
** thrift" as they can afford. These conditions certainly apply to 



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J96 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

the large majority of agricultural and other rural labourers in the 
South of England, except where proximity to London or other larg^e 
centre of industry produces higher rates of pay, and to considerable 
members of unsfcilled or low skilled workers in towns. Moreover, 
in many fairly skilled town trades where the man's wage, or, at 
any rate, the family income, would enable somethinj^ to be saved 
for old age, if it were reliable and continuous, the nuctuations of 
employment afford no reasonable expectation of regularity of pay- 
ments for such a purpose. Large sections of the building trades 
fall under this category. Those who insist that even in these 
classes the obligation to provide against old age devolves by right, 
sometimes urge that, if they were forced to rely upon their thrift 
for this purpose, they would be able to insist upon a higher rate of 
waees, when in work, so as to enable them to make this provision, 
and that in this constructive sense a state pension is a subsidy to 
wages which operates to keep down wages, as does indiscriminate 
out-relief. 

But this contention ignores alike the economic and the moral 
conditions of the wage-bargain for these classes. It is idle to allege 
that the probability of old age penury is, or can become, a r^ 
factor in the determination of wages for agricultural labour and for 
unskilled or casual town labour, or that the conditions of the labour 
market in normal times could enable them to give efficiency to such 
a motive, even if they entertained it. 

To other critics who insist that provision for old age could be 
made by all or nearly all wage earners if they would spend less on 
drink or on other useless or injurious objects, there are two replies ; 
first, that, if such improvements in expenditure were made, other 
elements in a progressive standard of comfort have a prior claim 
which would easily absorb the savings ; secondly, that the State in 
its policy is bound to consider not some theoretically wise economy 
of resources but such economy as is actual or probable. 

The economic and moral environment of most of our workers 
is such as practically to preclude calculations for a comfortable old 
age or wisely discriminative expenditure in the present. 

On all these points the case of women workers is even more 
conclusive than that of men ; for the normal wage of women 
workers, even in tolerably skilled town industries, is a ** sweating" 
wage, insufficient to maintain them in full efficiency, much less 
to afford provision for old age. The only considerable class of 
women workers, outside Lancashire, who are economically com- 
petent to make any such provision, is the better paid grade of 
domestic service : many of these workers do attempt some saving 
for this and other purposes, but much of it is. sucked up to assist 
in family emergencies, often going to support the old age of their 
parents. 

Taking our current wage system as a whole, and having proper 
regard to the growing irregularity of employment which accom- 
}>anies the attainment of middle age in most modern industries, 
it is unreasonable to expect that any large proportion of the lower 
paid workers should make any sort of adequate provision for their 
maintenance in old age. Can their family, then, be expected to 
maintain them ? To this the answer is that the modern industrial 
family, for reasons relating chiefly to the mobility, the division of 



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OLD AGE PENSIONS 297 

labour, and other characteristics of modern industry, tends to 
become less and less a self-sufficient economic unit, so that the 
strength of some wage-earninc^ members is less available than 
formerly to compensate the weakness of others. In many instances 
it is impossible to find close relatives who either voluntarily or on 
compulsion can support the aged members of the family : in many 
cases where such support is given it is at a heavy cost to the 
efficiency of the family standard of comfort, and is thus a social 
injury. 

If this economic analysis is substantially correct, it is imprac- 
ticable to endeavour to secure any considerable contribution to an 
Old Age Pension from the bulk of those whose need of a pension 
is most ureent. Only what is called the aristocracy of labour 
could afford such a regular contribution as would be required, and, 
if a State contribution were applied as a stimulus to private thrift 
for this purpose, some risk of diverting money from a better form 
of personal expenditure or thrift would be incurred. 

At best, a contributory scheme, subsidised out of taxation, 
would imply taking from the poorest grade of workers to give to 
the better-to-do workers, in so far as the former would pay taxes and 
only the latter receive pensions. The non-contributory policy is a 
bold and plain recognition of the salient facts of the situation, that 
there is much old a^e poverty which is a burden on the workers 
and an injury to civilisation, that it is not possible for workers or 
working class families to remedy this evil out of their own 
economic and moral resources, and that the State alone is compe- 
tent to undertake this provision out of the public resources. 

Those, however, who are disposed to treat the old age pensions 
policy as a distinctively eleemosynary matter, which the State seems 
driven into undertaking because no other method of abating old 
age poverty is possible, miss the full significance of the step in 
State socialism. 

In most modern industrial nations the growing inability of 
the individual and the family to anticipate and make adequate 
provision against emergencies arising from the increased com- 
plexity of industry and commerce is driving the State to take a 
larger and larger part in the business of Insurance. This is due, 
not merely to a growing recognition of the true interests of 
organised society in the repression of needless suffering and want, 
but also to a perception that the State can furnish a security which 
can be furnished in no other way. The State is by nature better 
qualified to undertake certain branches of Insurance than almost 
any other business, and can thus impart to the individual life an 
element of that stability which its very name implies. 

For such general purposes of security as are involved in an Old 
Age Pension, a great routine system of insurance can undoubtedly 
be worked more economically as a single public system than as a 
number of private competitive profit-seeking businesses, while, on 
the other hand, the actual assurance of the pension, and, what is 
almost as important, the confidence of the ordinary person in that 
assurance, is far better with a State guarantee than with any 
guarantee from even the most reputable Friendly Society or other 
private business.The credit of such a State as ours is better than 
the credit of the strongest financial company, and this is an 



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agS THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

economy of paramount importance in such an undertaking as stn 
insurance business for old age pensions. 

The perception of these truths is driving the most intellig^ent 
nations to entrust an increasing quantity of insurance business to 
public bodies. There is little doubt that all or most branches of 
this business relating to ordinary general and fairly calculable 
risks will become State functions. Provision for old age certainly 
belongs to this class of risks. 

A modern State, then, recognising its duty to secure its mem- 
bers against poverty in old age, not as an eleemosynary but as a 
business proposition, is confronted with the question whether such 
provision shall be made out of a vast number of little individual 
funds, collected in driblets over many years from the men and 
women who are to receive the pensions, or whether it is better to 
raise the necessary annual sum as a single whole by the normal 
process of taxation. 

If we suppose, as we are entitled to do, that every citizen is, 
during the active economic portion of his life, a taxpayer, part of 
the taxes he pays goes to defray the current expense of old age 
pensions for other aged persons : when he becomes old his turn 
comes. In as far as he has paid taxes, he may be considered to 
have been making a direct provision for his own future pension, 
/ust as much as if he had made a special contribution earmarked 
for this purpose : he may not know he does it, but he does it. It 
may, of course, be urged that poor people who will get pensions 
have during their lifetime paid less in taxation towards pensions 
than well-to-do persons who are not getting State pensions, and 
that in this sense the poor are subsidised by the rich. But so far 
as this is true it is no more applicable to pensions than to other 
public benefits, and it only means the normal operation of what is 
generally recognised as a sound canon of taxation, that taxes are 
imposed according to ** ability to bear." The objection, that the 
well-to-do have contributed to the pension fund and get nothing 
out of it themselves, is merely a reassertion of the invalid assump- 
tion above discussed, viz., that a pension is to be regarded as an 
individual right instead of a public utility. As taxes are raised 
according to ability to bear, so they are expended according to 
public needs: the fact that any taxpayer falling into straitened 
circumstances in old age can get his pension satisfies every equity 
of the case. Pensions are paid not as favours to individuals but 
as a self-protective policy of society. It is no more reasonable for 
a rich taxpayer to complain that he gets no pension than for a 
childless taxpayer to complain that he gets nothing out of the 
public expenditure on education. 

The contributory method is rightly rejected as one involving a 
false conception of state expenditure, and a wasteful and injurious 
system of raising the pension fund. To substitute a niggling 
method of retail collection for the wholesale method through the 
ordinary channels of taxation would be most palpable folly. To 
require any special regular payment from the poorest and most 
casually employed workers, whose need of an old age pension is 
greatest, would have one of two inevitable effects : if the payments 
were made, a wanton injury would be done to the standard of 
comfort and efficiency of the family ; if they were not made and the 



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OLD AGE PENSIONS 299 

pension was therefore withheld, the Pension Scheme would fail 
to achieve the chief part of the public purpose for which it was 
designed. 

The only really valid criticism directed against the Govern- 
ment's proposal relates to the somewhat inelastic form given to 
what may be regarded as a rough preliminary draft of a policy 
designed for various modifications. 

Old aee and its needs cannot be measured in rigid terms of 
years and money, and it is desirable, so far as sound modes of 
administration permit, that the method of a sliding scale should 
modify the operation of the pension, while the age limit should be 
relaxed to meet cases of infirmity. But important as such con- 
siderations are in their bearing on the practical efficiency of the 
pension policy, they do not affect the question of the validity of the 
social principles embodied in it. 

J. A. HOBSON. 



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300 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 



REVIEWS. 



A SOCIOLOGICAL SURVEY. 

''Wbst Ham: A Study in Social and Industrial Problbmb." E. 6. 
Howarth aad Mbna WIIbod. 6b. net 

During the last few years several causes have combined to thrust West 
Ham on the public attention. The distress due to unanployment in the 
winter of 1904-6, and the newspaper funds started with well-intentioned 
ignorance to relieve it: the so-called Socialistic regime of the Council 
during the years 1898-9, and the comments, apparently the misleading 
comments, made upon it by papers such as the Times (pp. 315); the 
revelation of corruption on the Board of Guardians (pp. 352) ; the striking 
increase in official pauperism between 1895 and 1905 (pp. 339), have 
taught the public to associate certain industrial evils with West Ham. 
In this book, which is the fruit of an enquiry instituted by an " Outer 
London Inquiry Committee," of which Canon Barnett was chairman, 
and several well-known Sociologists, like Mrs. Sidney Webb, Miss B. L. 
Hutchins, Professor Bowley, and Mr. J. A. Hobson were members, 
an attempt is made to present a scientific analysis of the problem 
of which the public knows only the symptoms. The secretaries of the 
Committee, who were responsible for organizing the inquiry, and for 
compiling the present work, were Mr. Edward G. Howarth and Miss Mona 
Wilson, the former Head of the Home for students in connection with 
Trinity College, at Stratford, the latter part-author of an excellent report 
on '' Social Conditions in Dundee," published by the Dundee Social Union. 

The book is divided into three parts — Housing, Employment and 
Wages, and Local Grovernxnent, preceded by a brief Historical Introduction, 
and followed by a chapter dealing with miscellaneous matters such as 
religious institutions, charities, settlements, and public-houses. The chapters 
upon Housing and upon Dock Labour seem to me the most valuable and 
the most original. In spite of all that has been written upon over- 
crowding, there have been in this country hardly any attempts to deal with 
the economics of the question in the same way as has been done in 
Germany. As it is, Mr. Howarth's and Miss Wilson's chapters are, in my 
opinion, too chary of generalization, and too much disposed to be content 
with a record of facts. But they nevertheless throw a very valuable light 
on the causes at work to produce the two main elements in bad housing 
conditions, first overcrowding of houses to the area, and secondly over- 
crowding of occupants in a single house. 

In particular they give a good and full account (a) of the inner mean- 
ing of what are called vaguely " speculative building " and " speculation 
in land, and (b) of the movements in the rent paid by occupants, and of 
the causes which produce them. The chief housing evils of West Ham seem 
to be the result of hasty building, and of carelessness on the part of the 
local authority in not buying up land for open spaces. When, in the years 
1897-9, there was a rapid increase in population and therefore in the 
demand for houses, every landowner was anxious to reap the harvest As 
a result there was keen competition to dispose of land to anyone who 



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REVIEWS sax 

could undertake to corer it with housee. This was the golden opportunity 
of the small builder, who requires credit to build at all, and who cannot 
afford to wait with unoccupied houses on his hands for a return on his 
money. Relieved from difficulties caused bj want of capital bj the fact 
that they were often financed by the owners of the land, and with a keen 
demand from a poor population which was not particular as to the quality 
of the accommodation, these men ran up cheap and ill constructed houses in 
thousands. '' Suppose a builder was prepared to put up a house worth 
£150, the freeholder would advance £140, and give him a present of £10 
on the completion of the building. . . . The builder would be required to 
pay off the loan in, for example, three months, and in the event of his 
doing BO, and becoming the owner of the house, the freeholder would 
receive from him a ground rent of, say, £3. By selling the ground rent at 
twenty years' purchase, the freeholder would pocket a sum of £60." As far 
as the qiioliPy of the houses put up are concerned, there seem to be causes 
mainly for making their deterioration — ^the rapid growth in the demand 
for accommodation by an extremely poor class, and the absence of efficient 
bye-laws, or of an efficient administration of them, by which the standard 
could be set up and maintained. The poor get rotten houses for the same 
reason that they would get rotten meat, if the law allowed, ^le remedy 
would seem to be much the same in the one case as in the other, and is 
suggested on page 127 (it is not clear whether the authors of the bo<^ 
endorse it). " It is urged, first, that the public authority should be able 
to enforce repair as well as sanitation ; and secondly (according to the 
proposal of the County Council in 1900). that the fre^iolder should be 
made responsible for both, by throwing on him the duty of making the 
owner carry out the repairing clauses in leases, and taking all other steps 
necessary to make the working-class houses on his property fit for human 
habitation." West Ham shows the not unc<»nmoci paradox of city life 
overcrowding (in 1901 24,790, or 9*27 of the population were living in an 
overcrowded condition) accompanied l^ empty houses ; ».c., there is an over 
supply of houses too expensive for the present class of occupants and an 
under supply of houses within their means. The figures given show that 
" the lower rents have a greater tendency to rise than those of better class 
property, and that the rise is greater in proportion to the rent." The rise 
in rents, which was greatest in the years 1897-9, has had a set-back since. 
But the enormous increase in the demand for accommodation over a long 
period of years is increased by the rise in the selling value of land. " In 
the Plaistow ward land with a frontage on a main thoroughfare was sold 
in 1875 for £925 an acre, and the present selling price is at the rate of 
£5,550 per acre ; in other words the value has'increased six-fold in thirty- 
two years. . . . Land was let at £3 per acre for market-garden purposes 
until 1900. At thirty years purchase the freehold was worth £90 per acre 
as agricultural land. It was sold in 1900 for £800 per acre in bulk. 
Roads were made, and in 1902 the selling price was £1,250 per acre. 
The present selling price of the portion not yet built upon averages £2,540 
per acre." . . . The owner of the soil is enabled by the increased demand 
for building land to realize in 1908 £2,540 for a plot which was in 1900 
worth £90. He forces up the price: the tenant's rent rises accordingly; 
and he in his turn saves on rent by crowding his family into two rooms 
instead of three, or one room instead of two. Thu9^ where the demand far 
housing is very great, the exactions of the full economic rent of the land 
seems to have the or^ercrowding of inmates per room as an inevitable ' 
consequence. The other side of the argument could be seen by looking at 



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302 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

Mr. Rowntree's estimate of the proportion of their earnings spent by the 
working classes in rent, or by turning to the information as to the rise in 
house rents given in Part II. of the Fiscal Blue-bodL. In their last chapter 
on housing, (chapter VI.) Mr. Howarth and Miss Wilson give a clear 
statement of s(»ne of the remedies suggested for the evils of overcrowding. 
These are familiar and need not be dwelt upon. Hie Glasgow system of 
''ticketed houses/' i.e., of labelling certain particularly notorious 
tenements on the outside with a tin ticket^ might have been mentioned. 
It facilitates inspection and cultivates public opinion. But it is a pity that 
the ticket does not bear the names and addresses of the various persons 
who have a financial interest in the property. 

The three chapters devoted to employment and wagea contain a 
historical and statistical account of the chief industries of West Ham, a 
very valuable description of the precise methods ol engagement and 
remuneration which are summed up in the phrase " casual labour," and an 
account of home work, a subject which is closely allied to the second 
because home work is largely carried on by the wives of casually employed 
dock labourers ; to use the convenient expression of Mr. and Mrs. Sidney 
Webb these two forms of employment are parasitic on each other. The 
main industrial problem of West Ham is fixed by the preponderance in it 
of trades demanding low skilled or " unskilled " labour (of course no 
labour is really unskilled). This at once differentiates it from engineering 
towns like Glasgow, or cotton towns like those of Lancashire, where the 
chief problem is Trade Unionism, and the chief evil the recurrence of 
disputes. Outside the " Metal and Machines " group there appears to be 
in West Ham very little combination on the part of workpeople. The 
six industries employing the largest number of males over 15 are the 
following: — 

1. Metals and Machines (excluding dealers) 10,818 

2. Building and Works of Construction 8,700 

3. General labourers 6,983 

4. In Docka and Harbours 5,928 

5. Chemicals, grease, oils, f at» etc. (excluding dealers) 2,560 

6. Food (excluding dealers) 1,876 

Of those employed in group 2 at least half, of those employed in group 4 
nearly two-thirds, are likely to approximate in position to the general 
labourers employed in group 3. As a matter of fact builders' labourers, 
as well as some carmen, and labourers employed in factories, continually 
take work in each others occupation, and there exists between them 8(Mne- 
thing like the trade mobility (though not the place mobility), postulated 
by the Ricardian School of Econ<»niBts. The earnings and employment 
of the '' mere labourer " are, therefore, the most crucial factor in ^e social 
life of West Ham. Of these two elements, employment is incomparably 
more important than earnings. In the the case of Dock Labour, which is 
usually and rightly taken as more or less typical of the evils of low- 
skilled labour, the earnings of men who are in work are c<Hnparatively 
high. Tables of the Daily Wages of ''casual labourers" at the Docks 
(pp. 205-6), show that the median wage per day in the months of March, 
June, September, and December, stands about 5s. lOd., and hardly ever 
drops below 58. What causes the evils of dock labour (and of general and 
building labour as well) is much less the lowness of the rate paid per hour 
than the method of engagement which tends to make labour " casual," i.e., 
offers no certainty, in the case of the majority applying for work, that a 
man employed on one day will also be employed on other days. The 



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REVIEWS 303 

irregularity of labour at the Docks is partly due to tbe fluctuations in the 
amount of work required, but mainly to the fact tihat no adequate 
organization exists for adjusting the supply of labour to meet the demand. 
The state of things as told in this report is briefly as f<^lowB. The chief 
employers of labour at the Victoria and Albert Docks are (1) the Dock 
Cbmpany, (2) the shipping companies, of which 27 have berths at these 
docks, some of them employing labour direct, and some giving out one or 
other department of their work to master stevedores and master porters, 
(3) master stevedores and master porters. Of these the Dock Ck>mpany 
employs a comparatively small and diminishing number ol men, but those 
whom it does employ get work pretty regularly. Since 1892 the 45 
departments in the Company's docks have been unified for the purpose 
of engaging labour. The men are classified in four groups : Regular stafl, 
A or regulated men, B or preference men, and casuals. Of these the first 
two groups are paid by the week, the rest by the hour. They are shifted 
from one place to another as there is a demand for them, the permanent 
men being employed first^then the A men in their order, then the B men in 
the same way. Extra men are taken on only when all the men in the other 
three groups are employed. The result is that little casual labour is 
employed : in 1903 and 1904 more than 96 per cent of the work was done 
by one of the firsd three classes, and over 70 per cent, was done by weekly 
labour. Unfortunately the Company employs a small part of all the 
labour required at the Docks (only about 700 men permanent, and in A 
and B), while apart from them the engagement of labour is almost 
unorganized; each shipping company and master stevedore takes on 
hands separately, with the result that many more men hang about the 
Docks on the chance of work than are needed for the work available on 
any average day. ''The shipping companies, master stevedores, and 
porters, have their men taken on by a foreman, usually at fixed hours. 
He goes to a " pitch " where the men are assembled, and picks the number 
required from among the applicants by one of the methods above explained. 
. . . The men selected by the foreman are given meted tickets or passes. 
Sometimes foremen will shirk the selection of the whole number required, 
and when they have given out a certain number of tickets will hold the 
rest in their hands to be snatched by whoever can get them. Such a fight 
was seen by the writers " (p. 200). The remedy was suggested by Mr. 
Charles Booth long ago^ and has been explained in detail by Mr. Beveridge, 
the Chairman of the London Employment Exchange CcMnmittee, in Uie 
Economic JoxMmal for March, 1907. It is to see that all the labour 
required is engaged at ofSoes in conmiunication wiUi each other, so that 
surplus men can be immediately drafted to the place at which they are 
wanted. This should be made certain in the Port of London Bill, and one 
of the functions of the new Trust created should be the regularization of 
labour. But though some provision is made for this in the Bill, nothing 
will be done unless Labour is directly represented on the Trust, and 
this apparently is not to be the case. Shareholders, shippers, the public, 
are all considered, and the 7,000 or 8,000 men most concerned are not 
even to be consulted! What were the Labour members in the House 
doing? 

The chapter on Home Work contains some valuable information and 
useful statistics, though owing to the recent concentration of public 
attention on sweating, the general nature of the problem is better known 
than in the case of overcrowding and of casual labour. Home work is the 
counterpart of casual labour: out of 294 husbands of home workers 



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304 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

whose occupations were ascertained 142, or nearly 50 per cent, were either 
general labourers or dock labourers. The evils caused bj home work fall 
into two broad diviaions : (1) Those due to faulty administration of 
existing laws, (2) those due to the general industrial character of the 
system and apparently inseparable from it. Under (1) may be placed the 
failure to enforce those provisions which are designed to improve the 
sanitary conditions of the homes. The writers think (p. 257) that the 
clause requiring a list of home workers to be sent to the Local Authority is 
not observed, and that the system under which an inspector interferes 
under the Factory Acts after notice has been given, instead of levelling up 
all houses by means of the Public Health Acts, is a mistake. In 1904 not 
a single prosecution took place in the whole country! Further the 
'' particulars clause " is not enforced, and since a judgment of the High 
G6urt in Squire v. Midland Lace CcMnpany the Truck Acts appear nob 
to apply to home workers (259-60). Under (2) is to be put the irregularity 
of work. For the economic motive to home work is mainly the desire to 
escape the fixed charges of plant and machinery in season trades where 
plant can't be kept in full work regularly. The facts as to low wages and 
long hours are familiar and need not be dealt upon here. Mr. Howarth's 
and Miss Wilson's statistics seem to have been compiled with praiseworthy 
care and completeness. 

Book III. consists of four chapters, of which the first deals mainly with 
the history and growth of the Borough, the second with education, the third 
with the Pooi: Law, and the fourth with the various attempts made locally 
to deal with the Unemployed Problem. 

West Ham has been held up to notoriety by certain papers as the 
victim of a " socialistic rigime of extravagance," and the writers discuss 
briefly the causes which have led to a rise in rates. There are three 
possible explanations. First ^ere is the socialism theory favoured by the 
Times. This is picturesque ; but unfortunately, as the authors point out, 
the increase of expenditure between 1895 and 1900 from £160,971 to 
£240,071 took place " under a Council in which the socialist group only 
numbered six." The real causes seem to be two, the great increase in 
the population of the Borough (from 128,953 in 1881 to 288,425 in 1904), 
and the fact that prior to the conversion of West Ham into a County 
Borough under the Act of 1888, necessary services had been shamefully 
neglected. During the whole existence of the Board of Health which 
preceded the creation of the Borough Council — a period of 30 years, only 
£294,249 were raised for capital expenditure. The new Council had to 
spend money on sewerage and sanitation(in 1902 the debt for these was 
£218,000 odd), street improvements (a debt of £400,643), lunatic asylums 
(£303,478 debt), and hospitals (£131,475). Thus "ratepayers' candidates" 
prepare a burden for posterity, and then curse "Socialism" when posterity 
shoulders it. 

What, to sum up, are the main causes of the poverty of West Ham? 
They seem to be (1) the exceedingly large number of dependent persons. 
Of every 100 persons living in London 34, of every 100 in Hampstead 27, 
of every 100 living in West Ham 40, are dependent. This will, of course, 
tend to right itself as the influx of young persons into West Ham 
diminishes. 

(2) Casual and irregular employment, due to want of organization in 
the labour market. 

(3) The employment of boys on work which offers them no training in 
industry, and from which they are turned adrift at manhood. 



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REVIEWS 305 

(4) Insufficiently regulated home work, carried on without plant and 
macninerj and therefore unproductive. 

(5) DenMralization caused by bad housing and sanitary conditions, 
which mean that whole sections of the population are condemned to life- 
long physical and mental inefficiency. 

If at the end of this long review the writer may offer a suggestion 
which springs from reading a very interesting and valuable book, he 
would plead that future investigators should not confine themselves to an 
analysis of industrial evils, but should give a far fuller account of the 
geographical, economic, and historical circumstances under which parti- 
cular towns have grown up. We want not only a pathology, but a history 
and a morphology of urban life and conditions, in order to understand 
moie fully the broad economic causes which are normally operative. The 
sort of questions which one would like to see treated at greater lengtii are : 
Why do particular industries settle in particular localities? What has 
caused a very rapid increase of population at particular moments ? What 
function does West Ham perform in the general economy of the Thames 
valley and of Southern England I What are the commercial causes which 
make for home work and casual labour as distinct from the evils produced 
and the remedies suggested? Generalization is very dangerous; yet is it 
not worth the risk ? But it is an ungrateful task to suggest additions to a 
book which the writers may well have thought quite long enough, and for 
which every student of social problems will be grateful. 

R. H. Tawott. 



"LicTURBS OK Humanism, with Special Rbfbrbncb to its Bbabinqs on 
SooiOLOGT." By Prof. J. S. Mackenzie. Pp. vi., 243. Swan, 
Sonnenschein k Co., 1907. Price 4s. 6d. 

Interesting, candid, clear and suprgestive rather than cogent and 
conclusive are the epithets that naturally occur in connection with these 
lectures. Could Prof. Mackenzie develope fully the theory of Man and the 
World adumbrated in this and other volumes the reader is often 
tempted to think that he would present a more tenable form of idealism 
than has yet been worked out. It would be more tenable because more 
fully conscious of difficulties, and more ready to recognise the contributions 
made from opposite points of view. Tet the very fulness of this 
recognition, the almost superabundant garnering of the fruits from all 
quarters tends to obstruct the clear utterance of the writer's own thought. 
He pushes Catholicity almost to the point of a fault. Tet it is a fault 
BO rare as to be a virtue compared with the narrowness of some of 
those wh(Hn he treats as spiritual pastors and masters. 

Idealism in this volume is called Humanism, and its handling is more 
original than the author's modest treatment might suggest. The central 
thought is firsts that human life is to be understood on the basis of its 
meaning or purpose; and, secondly, that human life must stand in 
integral relation to the process of the universe. It follows — I do not say 
as a conclusion but as a suggestion — ^that the universe is to be understood 
on the basis of a purpose analogous to the purpose of humanity. 
This is the point of view of humanism illustrated in the compass of this 
short volume by applications to metaphysics, politics, economics, education 
and religion. Its originality consists in this — ^that an idealistic interpreta- 
tion of reality is avowedly based on the analysis of human and social 



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306 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

life. Human nature is, as in Positiyism, the centre from which thoug^ht 
starts, but not, as in Positivism, the sphere within which it rerolwes. 
" Human nature may be regarded as containing the key to the universe, 
or at least as containing the key to itself." If I read the last two lectures 
aright the view is that it cannot contain the one without the other. 

We touch here the question of the connection of Sociology w^ith 
General Philosophy — a question which underlies all theories of social 
evolution. It may be put in this way, among others : A scientific analysis 
of individual and social life leaves us with no doubt as to the reality of 
human purpose as an agency in the movements of life. Upon the whole, 
the interpretation of social and psychological evolution taken togefrher 
goes to establish a certain growth of such purpose, and that in a double 
sensei The social purpose evolves out of conflict and obscurity to unity 
of meaning and consciousness of aim, and as it evolves its control of the 
conditions of life extends. It gains in power to realise its objects. But 
suppose this to be true — and much has yet to be done before it can be 
taken for granted — ^what is its bearing on the final interpretation of 
reality? Is this particular form of evolution something peculiar to this 
earth and to a certain epoch of the earth's life, or is it a stage or phase 
of some much vaster evolution 7 Is it a casual incident in the history of 
an insignificant planet, or a significant part of some general plan of 
things? To these questions the Positivist answer is that we cannot tell, 
but that the fact that progress is a genuine possibility for human effort 
up to the limits of our horizon is sufficient. The Idealist answer is that 
the teleological view of things is a necessity of thought. Prof. Mackenzie's 
answer seems to be rather that the validity of human purpose is itself the 
central conception working outwards from which we are led on to infer 
an element of purpose in the framework of things. To attempt a 
provisional statement of that purpose is at any rate scientifically justifiable 
so long at least as the whole conception is regarded as tentative and 
hypothetical, and in this attempt Prof. Mackenzie makes more than one 
suggestion of interest which one would be glad to see worked out in 
fuller detail in a larger volume. L. T. H. 



"Adam Smith and Modern Socioloot." By Professor Albion Small. 
The University of Chicago Press. London : Fisher Unwin. 

This little book is a study in the methodology of the social sciences, and 
is declared by its author to be a portion of a larger and more complete 
investigation of the relations between nineteenth century social science and 
sociology, now in progress in the Seminar of Professor Small at the 
University of Chicago. 

In the introduction, Prof. Small, with the clearness which characterises 
all his writing, draws a sharp distinction between the present mental 
attitude of economists and that taken by Adam Smith in his " Wealth of 
Nations." 

The capitalistic position of writers and thinkers for whom the 
production of wealth exists for purposes of social control, is thus contrasted 
with Smith's innocence of the assumption that capital is ever the goal of 
economic activity. Prof. Small maintains that the dominant note 
throughout the economic teaching of Adam Smith is the assumption that 
all economic activity must necessarily be for the purpose of putting people 
in possession of the means of life. 

Hence the aim and purpose of the book before us are to prove that the 



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REVIEWS 307 

founder of economic studies belongs to the school of humanistic sociologists 
rather than to that of the materialistic economists. In other words, Adam 
Smith was first and foremost a moral philosopher, concerned, therefore, 
with human values and with the increase and conservation of human 
wealth rather than with technical activities and material products. In the 
conception of Smith, according to Dr. Small, the latter, although included, 
were wholly tributary to his general system of philosophy. It was 
necessary to work out a science of ways and means, because only thus could 
the essential material conditions of all spiritual achievement be secured. 

In the two chapters on the economics and sociology of labour, Prof. 
Small puts forward a brief, but lucid and interesting analysis of the 
" Wealth of Nations," and incidentally gives a running commentary and 
comparison of Smith's position and that of Marx. How far and to what 
extent Smith expressly correlated economic facts with other social activities 
is very well shown. The whole of the argument is ably sunmied up in the 
words of our author on pp. 179-180. 

" The modern economists who want to give their science a different 
scope may have broken with the tradition which the ''Wealth of 
Nations " established. Some of them are tending towards readjustment 
with the fundamental moral philosophy of which the "Wealth of 
Nations " was a specialisation ; others are tending toward a specialisation 
of a different sort, as for instance, on the one hand, the theory of 
taxation or finance, or currency, or banking, or transportation ; or, on 
the other hand, the converting of economics into a psychology of 
economic valuations. This readjustment of the perspective of economic 
science cannot be complete until it brings economic activities into focus 
as merely one of the interdependent factors of the evolving purposes of 
persons." 

Prof. Small in this book demonstrates very forcibly the distinction 
which rightly belongs to Adam Smith in his employment of both the 
deductive and the historical methods in close association, and in such a 
way as to afford mutual support, thus evolving a more catholic and more 
convincing line of argument than most of his successors, who fell into the 
error of over-working the one or the other element of proof in seeking to 
establish economic principles. From this error arose two divergent schools 
of economic theory, whereas the whole methodology of the social sciences 
must be rather an endeavour to elaborate the implications of both these 
principles. The abstraction of the economic phase of activity from the 
totality of human activities, and from a comprehensive moral philosophy 
which took place after the *' Wealth of Nations " was written, Prof. Small 
describes as " a temporary provincialism," and argues that whatever be the 
content of economic theory it must find for itself a valid correlation with 
the whole scope of positive moral philosophy, before it can recover the 
relative dignity which belonged to it in Adam Smith's scheme of morality. 

J. C. Hudson. 



" Production : A Study in Economics." By P. H. Castberg. Sonnenschein. 

From internal evidence we gather that the author of this work is a 
man of practical business training, probably connected with finance. His 
book has both the merits and the defects to be expected in a writer of keen 
intellect and wide business knowledge^ but not well acquainted with the 



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308 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

literature of Economics. His work might better h&ve been entitled 
" MoTements of Goods and Money/' for it is virtually devoted to a skilful 
attempt to show how goods and their monetary equiyalents are put into^ 
move about in, and are withdrawn from the industrial system. 

Mr. Caatberg starts with the two millions of inhabitants of his native 
country Norway, and with the annual production of its labour in fish, 
timber, ore, etc., as the source of real and money income, and after 
classifying the members of the industrial community in relation to the 
part they play as direct or indirect producers, he traces the destiny of 
the product as it passes, partly along t^e direct current towards consump- 
tion, partly through savings to enlarge the fabric and current 
of production, and partly as it is used to get other commodities by foreign 
exchange. This concrete handling of his subject enables him to avoid any 
direct formulation of theories of value, laws of rent and wages, and in 
fact almost all the doctrines over which theoretical economists have fought 
so fiercely. 

In some respects his method is eminently successful. For example, he 
shows, as most economic text-books fail to show, the actual movements of 
goods and money comprised in the process of saving, and he is not the 
dupe of the false doctrine of unlimited parsimony which Adam Smith 
foisted on to English theory. On the other hand, when he enters upon so 
essentially intricate a theme as that of tariffs for the protection of home 
industry, his method of keeping close to concrete facts deceives him into 
a partial endorsement of some of the typical errors of protectionism, such 
as the claim that a protective tariff can stimulate and increase the 
aggregate of employment and production inside the protective wall. 
From a similar failure to realise the full reactions of a tariff he partially 
endorses the economic validity of agricultural protection for certain 
States. Though his general position upon this as upon other controversial 
topics, is moderate and well-informed, his disregard of abstract theory 
sometimes disables him from obtaining a full correlation of the working 
of wider unseen tendencies in trade. 

A large and most valuable portion of his work is occupied with a 
description of the structure of finance, and with the respective parts 
played by banks and the money market. 

J. A. H. 



"La D^mocratib Individualists." By Yves Guyot. Paris: V. Giard 

and E. Bri^re. 

Amid all this flood of controversial literature upon modern Socialism 
it is an advantage and a positive relief to read this close and confident 
statement of the Individualist doctrine by so powerful an exponent as 
M. Yves Guyot. With admirable French lucidity he traces the evolution 
of society from primitive barbarism as a continuous series of steps in 
the enlargement of individual liberty through the progressive realisation 
of private property. From the almost unlimited despotism of primitive 
chiefs and castes we proceed by a series of changes, mainly economic in 
their directive forces, towards a condition of society in which the functions 
of government tend more and more to be confined to the protection of 
personal liberty and property. 

M. Guyot traces with great skill this process in the objective conditions 
of modem civilisation and in the progress of political thought. The 



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REVIEWS 309 

course of ciTilisation is summarised by him in the following two 
aphorisms: — 

** Individualism is the substitution of contract for imperative law." 

" Political progress is in inverse ratio to the coercive action of man 
upon man.'' 

Now in this interpretation of history one difficulty oocura to the mind, 
which neither M. Gujot nor Mr. Spencer nor any other Individualist 
really faces. Why is it that suddenly this constant and continuous 
tendency towards the weakening of the State and the enlargement of 
individual liberty should be threatened by this new counter-tendency of 
Socialism? To M. Guyot as to Mr. Spencer, it appears an essentially 
arbitrary, vexatious and artificial interference with the true order of 
Nature. The truth is of course that this Socialistic tendency is as old 
and as natural as the other, Individuation and Association being two 
related principles of evolution throughout the entire history of organic 
life. M. Guyot chooses to take for his goal the c<Hnplete and independent 
individual just as there are Socialists to whom progress is measured 
only in terms of the unity and solidarity of society. 

M. Guyot's interpretation of social evolution is doubly vitiated, first, 
by a too materialistic or economic interpretation of history, resting over- 
much upon the idea of property; secondly, by a refusal to assign any 
real intelligible meaning to society. Indeed, as he himself expresses it» 
Individualism alone is objective, for the individual is an irreducible 
reality, while society and humanity are nothing but vague general 
expressions. Destitute of any tincture of modern psychology, M. Guyot 
seems to regard his individuals as complete watertight monads from t^ 
beginning; they come into social relations and set up governments simply 
to preserve their separatism intact. So thoroughly inhibited is his mind 
from any other conception of society that he fails completely to under- 
stand the important meaning of Rousseau's doctrine o^ the volontS 
gSnirale, which is the beginning of a constructive theory of modern 
democracy. The notion that the machinery of government, other than 
military and police^ can be utilised to assist in a more equitable 
distribution of property and to secure a fuller and more real personal 
liberty, seems incapable of entering his mind. In the artificial extension 
of governmental powers which he finds proceeding in France and other 
civilised States, he sees nothing but corruption, public inefficiency and 
waste, loss of liberty, and interference with the rights of property of the 
well-to-do classes. 

His haunting terror is the employment by the State of progressive 
taxes levied upon personal incomes. No wonder such an individualist 
feels alarmed when he sees d^nocracies possessed for the first time of the 
power to take rents and other profits of protected and privileged industries 
away from those who have not earned them, in order to devote them to 
the good of a society which to his imagination is little better than a 
chimera. J. A. H. 



" EssAi SUR LBS REVOLUTIONS." Par Arthur Bauer. Paris : Giard & Bri^re. 

In this somewhat abstract treatise M. Bauer attempts to apply the 
methods of the physiologist to the study of social problems. It is, he 
says, the province of the historian to supply verified historical facts — ^the 
material which the sociologist desires to use in his study of comparisons. 



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310 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

But as no two societies are alike, the neoessitj of analysis arises. Hence 
the first part of this hook is devoted to an analytical study of the causes 
leading to reyolutions, the second deals with the crisis, and the third to 
the renaissance, or transformation of the state. 

The revolutionary act is primarily an act of violence. It is for 
psychology to explain the importance of the personal factor. The great 
man has the same nature as his fellows but it is raised to a higher power. 
In a popular revolt the crowd consists of heterogeneous elements, incap- 
able of unity, but it attains a kind of personality, and the character of 
the revolt is determined by the people who take part in it. One of the 
signs of a coming revolution is a change in the moral values, as in the 
antithesis between paganism and Christianity. Earl Marx's theory that 
interest is the sole factor of social revolution is an exaggeration. In 
order to understand the conflict of ideas preceding revolutions we must 
go back to the true causes — ^the dispositions of the public which have 
favoured the growth of new ideas. But the real cause of a successful 
revolution is the decadence of the State. 

When the revolution breaks out there is always an unstable equili- 
brium among the different parties: many acts of violence are abortive, 
as they need an appropriate milieu, where they can set free reserves of 
latent force. The conception of a fatalistic evolution in humanity is 
only apparently true. If Cadoudal's plot against Bonaparte had suc- 
ceeded, can we imagine that another general would have taken his place, 
and turned Europe upside down? The rdle of eminent personalities is 
beyond the grasp of Science in its present state. It is essential to 
remember that the individual is powerless without the collaboration of a 
party disposed to action. Hence the importance of political ideas which 
interest a great number of people. The democratic idea is the revolution- 
ary idea par excellence. 

The struggle between the two opposing parties may be econ(»nic, 
political, or religious, but always the secret spring is class interest, i.e., 
everything favourable to the development of the social being, or which 
raises the social rdle which each one plays as the member of a well-defined 
group. Change in the dominant class is the one feature common to all 
revolutions. After victory has been achieved the united party tends to 
break up, and there is danger of reaction as in the French Revolution of 
1848. History shows us that the victorious party establishes laws in 
accordance with its own interests. The new State has no capricious 
development, but follows the tendencies of its own nature. 

There is no panacea for social disorders. Progress is not the result 
of a fatalistic evolution : its primary cause is the intelligent activity of 
men. Hence the fundamental dogma of practical sociology should be the 
power of the intellect — ^mental and moral efficiency. "Finally intellig- 
ence^ energy, morality in the governors and the governed are the essential 
factors of progress, i.e., of the force, greatness, and prosperity of the 
nation. It is owing to these qualities that a society is able to develop, 
without the need of passing through those formidable crises called 
revolutions." 

These are the main points which M. Bauer has elaborated, and. to a 
certain extent illustrated, by historical examples, of which there are 
perhaps too few. There is an excellent table of contents but no index. 

A. M. Lkioh. 



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REVIEWS 31X 

" SOSIALI8MUB WD DbMOKRATIB in DBR QR08SBN BNGLIBCHBN RbYOLUTIOH." 

Bj E. Bernstein Stuttgart : Zweite Ausgabe. 1908. 

Herr Bernstein has wiselj issued a revised edition of hia aoholarly 
treatise on Socialism and Democracy during the Puritan Revolution, 
which originally formed part of a bulky volume on the history of 
Socialism, in a cheaper and more handy form. Thirteen years ago he was 
something of a pioneer, and I may perhaps be permitted to say that in 
writing on the same subject a year or two later I derived more assistance 
from hia chapters than from any other modem book. One of its merits 
was that it firmly established the importance of Lilburne both as one of 
the leading actors in the drama and as the father of English radicalism. 
An even gi^ater merit was the virtual discovery of Gerard Winstariley, 
the boldest political thinker of the seventeenth century, a Conmiunist to 
whom Communism was neither an intellectual plaything nor the fruit of 
religious exaltation but a living conviction based on a carefully constructed 
system of moral and economic principles. Since the appearance of this 
volume interest in him has steadily grown, culminating in Mr. Berens' 
monograph two years ago. 

Though Lilburne and Winstanley are the most striking figures in these 
pages, other men and other movements receive their share of attention. 
Beginning with Ket's revolt in 1549 and keeping steadily in view the 
development of the democratic movement, Herr Bernstein conducts us 
through the Puritan revolution, calls our attention to the political and 
economic aspects of Quakerism, and ck>se6 with a full account of the 
teaching of John Beilers. Though the working-classes were too 
undeveloped to become a political party and to take part as a class in the 
great upheaval which forms the main theme of this volume, the author 
througlK>ut surveys events in relation to their fortunes and explains the 
ideas, political, economic, and philosophical, that fermented in the minds 
of their more original spokesmen. 

G. P. GoocH. 



"Tbb Factory and Shop Acts of thb British Doicinions." By Miss 
Violet Markham : with a Preface by Mrs. H. J. Tennant. London : 
Eyre & Spottiswoode. 2s. 6d. net. 

This little book is a very useful apergu of factory legislation in 
England and her colonies. The abstract of Australian and New Zealand 
laws is especially opportune at a moment when we are considering the 
advisability of imitating the policy of those States which have enacted 
laws for regulating wages. Mrs. Tennant reminds us in her preface that 
a high standard in industrial conditiona is more likely to be realised if, 
through the interchange of statistics and the comparison of laws, a healHiy 
spirit of emulation and stimulus can be set up: the Mother Country, 
with the history of her long experience shewing the errors and pitfalls 
to avoid, and the daughter States, whose industrial degradation is not 
as yet confirmed ^nd rooted by centuries of use and wont» being happily 
free to initiate that larger constructive policy which it is to be hoped we 
may eventually adopt at home. 

B. L. HuTCHINS. 



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312 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

OFFICIAL PUBLICATIONS. 



PRELIMINARY REPORT OF THE CENTRAL (UNEMPLOYED) BODY FOB 
LONDON TO MAY 12tel, 1906. 

SECOND REPORT OF THE CENTRAL (UNEMPLOYED) BODY FOR LONDON 
MAY 12iH, 1906, TO JUNE 30th, 1907. 

A summary of the applicants for work, and how they have been disposed of, is 
given in the Second Report only, as follows : — 

Number of men registered 26,155 

Number of women r^jstered 1,415 

Number actually employed by (or through) Central Body — Men 5,432 

„ „ „ „ „ „ Women .., 308 

Number r^^istered by Employmoit Exchanges — Males 63,238 

„ » „ Females 11,000 

Number placed by Employment Exchanges— Males 9,556 

n »> » » )) Females 2,973 

There are now 25 employment exchanges federated under the Central Body. Of 
these 8 were open during August 1906, 13 during September, 21 during October, 
22 during November, 24 during December, 25 during January 1907. 

The Central Body provides work in two ways, through Public Bodies and Labour 
Colonies. 

(1) It allots sums in aid of schemes for exceptional work undertaken by Borough 
Councils. This work consists chiefly in the laying out of open spaces and burial 
grounds, planting of trees, etc. The sum contributed by the Central Body must be 
used solely in respect of wages. 

H.M. Office of Works submitted a scheme for the employment of men in Richmond 
Park and Hyde Park, and the L.C.C. also offered facilities for work in its Parks. 
Recoupment was made according to a valuation by the Council's officers, "but what 
must cause grave apprehension is the fact that, by the valuation of such an authority 
as the London County Council, the product of the work is but one-fifth of its best.*' ' 
The L.C.C. Superintttident of Works reported that, although the work, when 
completed, was as good as that done by skilled workmen, it took longer to do. He 
also said that when the men first started they were not in a physically fit condition 
to do a fair day's work. 

The chief of the Labour Colonies are Hollesley Bay and Fambridge. The work 
at Fambridge consisted of reclaiming the flooded land and repairing the sea-wall, 
and it lasted from February 1906, to July 1907. The average number of men 
employed was 150. 

Hollesley Bay is primarily an agricultural training college, but the men are 
also trained in building construction and estate repairs. The usual term is 
16 weeks, but a few " selected " men who have shown a special aptitude for 
country life were kept longer and given a training that would fit them to become 
small holders, "it being then understood by the Committee that a suitable scheme 
for the provision of small holdings for the selected men could be put into operation." 
Owing to an adverse decision of the Local Grovemment Board, this was found to be 
impossible. Attempts to secure situations in the country were unsuccessful, and 
"some of the men who had become thoroughly discouraged at having the hopes 
which had been raised in their minds with respect to settl^nent on the land 

1. Second Report, p. 64. 



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OFFICIAL PUBLICATIONS 



313 



defeated, returned to Town." Thia should be borne in mind when considering the 
following table of the reasons for leaving HoUesley Bay, which is taken from the 
table compiled for all the colonies, 1905 — 1907 * : — 

Time expired 



Found work 

Did not return 

Trouble at home 

Misconduct 

Sickness and medical attendance 

Unfit 

Emigration 

Own accord 

Dissatisfied 

Migrated 

Drink ^. 

Discharged (various reasons) 

Beduction of numbers (completion of work) 



310 

270 

157 

55 

54 

93 

19 

145 

157 

8 

22 

35 

20 

108 



Total 1,448 
An analysis has been made of 159 out of 540 Record Papers of men provided 
with work by the Central Body during the season. The papers were chosen at 
random and the result is interesting as showing some of the causes of unemployment : 

Slackness 

Introduction of machinery 

Bankruptcy of employer 

Illness 

Staff changes 

Own accord 

Disputes and disagreements 

Lost time 

Incompetence 

Bad marks 

To better himself 

Shortening hands 

Beason unknown 

Death of employer 

Job finished 

Accident 

Unheiilthy occupation 

Miscellaneous 







58 






8 






11 






. 12 






11 
3 

8 
1 

. 4 

13 

2 

4 
4 
1 

14 
2 
1 
2 



Total 159 

Work rooms for women have been opened in Gamberwell, St. Pancras and 
Poplar. The women make clothes for the Emigration Department and also for sale 
to the men on the Labour Colonies. The majority of the women seem to have 
benefited by working under these conditions, but only in few cases have they been 
able to obtain permanent employment afterwards. 

This is the first attempt to deal with unemployment amongst women, and the 
evidence points to the fact that the need is greater during the summer than the 
winter, the worst time for certain classes of women workers being between August 
and November. D. Shena Poma. 

2. Second Report, p. 121. 



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314 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 



THE CONTROL OF INFANTILE MORTALITY. 

Huddersfield has distinguislied itself by its campaign (1905-07) against preveniible 
mortality among infants with (apparently) enviable results. The Bristol authoritias 
would follow suit, but before adopting special measures, their Medical Ofiloer has 
furnished a comparative statement and charts showing the course of the Infantile 
Mortality in the two towns during the last 30 years (Letter to Health Committee, 
January, 1908). The general course and extent of the decline of this source of lose 
is seen to be ahnost identical in these widely-separated industrial centres during the 
last 13 years. This does not prove that the Huddersfield efforts have borne little 
or no fruit, but it is a warning against hasty assumptions and claims; it shows that 
there are factors beyond our control at present, as the extreme oscillations of the 
curves alone would suggest; among them the weighty influence of meteorological 
conditions is of course prominent. 



CHILDREN UNDER THE POOR LAW. A REPORT TO THE PRESIDENT 
OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD. [Cd. 3899.] 

This Paper gives an instructive account of the stewardship of the State as 
foster-parent; it leaves a very favourable impression of good work achieved by 
methods marked by the characteristics of most English institutions, e.g., compromise 
and multiformity. A brief " retrospect " describes the evolution of the present 
system in regard to Maintenance and Education (the Home and the School). Until 
about 40 years ago, these child-waifs were practically confined to the Workhouses, 
wherein they got such schooling as was deemed necessary; since then, the policy 
pursued has been to withdraw them from the enervating " pauper " atmosphere and 
to establish them in special institutions or " Homes" to which schools are attached; 
the public elementary schools provide for about half the total at the educational age. 
The aim is to secure a more human, home-like milieu under good personal influence 
with the best training for the after-career, in place of the old unintelligent " institu- 
tional " methods. Of the total of 69,000 children under care on January 1st, 1907, 
only 14,676 were living in the Workhouses, apart from 6,690^ under treatment in the 
Infirmaries; the rest were distributed in District and Separate Schools (11,809); in 
other Training Homes and Schools (8,450); in Cottage Homes (about 11,000); in 
Scattered Homes (4,963) ; while 8,659 were boarded out in private homes under 
supervision. Even those now left in the Workhouses attend the public elementary 
schools where they mix with other children. 

It is clear that we have a very important experiment in progress, and the 
general policy appears to be amply justified by the record of the results in the 
after-careers both in England and in Canada, whither over 7000 have been sent 
since 1883; there is evidence that the essential end of the development of character 
along with a good training for life-work is being attained. 

Taking 11,000 of the children in the metropolitan area, the average cost of each 
child amounted to lis. 3d. per week, and of this 48. 7d. was for " Maintenance " 
(Provisions, Necessaries and Clothing); the cost for provisions alone was equal to 
4d. a day. 



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PERIODICAL LITERATURE 3X5 



PERIODICAL LITERATURE. 



BivisTA Intbrnazionali di Scibnzi Sociali I DisciPUNs AuBiLiA&ii. Vol. zlvi, 
Fasc. clxxxiy. — Mathia Mayer : II contralto tTappaltoin Gtrmania. Antonio Boggiano : 
II protetionismo maritUmo e U naviglio mercantile. Pietro Pisani : 7 problemi deW 
enUgratione itaiiana. 

Vol. xlvii, Fasc. clxxzv. — ^Emiliano Paeteris : Beligione e elero in America, 
G. Gk>ria : Caratteri e tendente del movimento aocialistico in Italia, Pietro Silvio 
Bivetta : Shinto, la religione dei Cfiapponesi, 



lUvxTB iKTBBitAnoNAiJi DI SociOLOOU. Yol. zvi, Ko. 3.— O. L. Duprai: 
Uithique de^ adolescents, Niceeeiti d*une morale sexuelle. Sexual morality is of 
central importance for the experiences of adolescents. A plea is made for the adequate 
presentation of ethical standards and ideals by showing how far-reaching are their 
consequences. £. Chanffard : D^eir, beeoin et progria. A desiiw when satisfied passes 
into a need and is replaced by a new desire. There is therefore no necessary con- 
nection between well-being and happiness. But the desire for happiness is the cause 
of progress in well-being. Soci^ de Sociologie de Paris. Paper by the Vice- 
President L^n Philippe : Lee types sociaux. Le Professeur. 

No. 4. — Louis Gumplowicz : La sociologie de Rattenhofer, J. Novicow : Erreurs 
ginirales du socialisme. Soci6t^ de Sociologie de Paris. Paper by Mme. J. Misme : 
Les types sociaux: Linstitutrice, 

No. 5. — Scipio Sighele : Engine Sue et la psychologic crinUnelle. A study of the 
types and situations in Sue's Mystires de Paris, showing him a precursor of modem 
criminal psychology. Baoul de la Grasserie : Des intermidiaires sociaux, A study of 
the evolution of means or instruments specialised by the social order for accomplishing 
its ends. Soci6t4 de Sociologie de Paris. Lts types sociaux: le professeur. 



Abchiv fOb Bassen- tnd GisBLLSCHAFTS-BioLOGii. Jahrgang 5, Heft 2. — Dr. med. 
Adolf Steiger : Gedanhen Uber die verschiedenen Formen der Kurzsichtigkeit. Dr. 
Bndolf Poch : Hassenhygienische und drztliche Beobachtungen aus Neu-Ouinea. 
Prof. Karl Pearson : Uber den Zweck und die Bedeutung einer nationalen Bassen- 
hygiene. Dr. Christian von Ehrenfels : Erwiderung auf Dr. A. Ploetz Bemerhungen 
tu meiner Abhandlung Uber die konstitutive Verderblichkeit der Monogamie, Dr. G. 
Hagmann : Die Landsdugetiere der Insel Mexiana als Beispiel der Einwirkung der 
Isolation auf die UmbUdung der Arten. 

Jahrgang 5, Heft 2. — Professor Manfred Ziermer : Genealogische Studien Uber die 
Vererbung geistiger Eigenschaften nachgewiesen an einem Material von 1SS4 Weddauer 
Haushaitungen. The inheritance of psychical qualities as exemplified in 15 families 
of one village, whose family-histories extend over 300 years. The qualities are chiefly 
predilection for certain occupations and efficiency. Prof. Dr. Eduard Westermarck : 
Moraibegriffe Uber die Ehelosigkeit. A study of the customary and religious sanctions 
which have conduced, with various peoples, to marriage and parenthood, or to 
celibacy. Sexual purity as a factor in holiness. Dr. A. Nordenholx : Sotiologische 
Problems. I. Das Problem von Cronzen und vom Teil. A methodological study of 
the application to society of certain concepts as those of the whole and the part, of 
integration and dissolution, and of quality and quantity. Dr. A. Forel : Gelbe und 
weisse Basse. Ein praktischer Vorschlag. An enquiry into the conditions under 
which the results of race-mixture might be studied. In ord^ to investigate the 



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3X6 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

relative effects of organic and social inheritance, small groaps of children from each 
race should be placed under the social conditions of the other. C. L. W. NoorduTXi : 
Die Brblichkeit der Farben bei Kanarienvdgeln. 



lUvxn DB ukrATKYBiqum r db mobalb. Vol. zvi, 2.— V. Brochard : Le Dieu de 
Spifuna, E. Meyxual : Du rSU d€ la logique dans la formation sdtntifique du droit. 
A. Job : La mithode en ehimie, H. Korero : La Philosophie de Wundt. 

Vol. xvi, 8. — ^F. Colonna d'Istria : Bichat et la biologie eontetnporaine, J. Binl- 
didier : Lee caraetiriatiqueB probables de Vimage vraxe, M. Winter : Importance 
phUosophique de la thiorie des nombres. H. Norero : La PhUosophie de Wundt. 



Imtkbnational Joubnal or Etkicb. Vol. zviii. No. 8.— J. 8. Mackenzie : Tka 
Problem of Moral Instruction. A discussion of the difficulties incident to moral 
instruction due to lack of agreement as to principles and lack of qualified teachers. 
Mabel Atkinson : The Struggle for Existence in Relation to Morals and Religion, 
George H. Mead : The Philosophiad Basis of Ethics. Waldo L. Cook : Wars and 
Labor Wars. The strike, or labor war, is compared with war betweoi states. Evolu- 
tion of the right to strike, its incitements to violence and its relations to the whole 
community. A. C. Pigou : The Ethics of Nietzsche. H. W. Wright : Evolution and 
the Self'Realitation Theory. Ray Madding McConnell : The Ethics of State InUr- 
ferenee in the Domestic Relations. 



Bi VISTA Italiana di Sociolooia. Anno zii, Fasc. 1. — O. Beloch : Ricerehe suUa 
storia della popclazione di Modena e del Modenese. B. Brugi : Eguaglianta di 
diritto e diseguagliante di fatto. F. Coletti : Alcuni caratteri antropometriei dei 
Sardi e la questione della degenerazione della ratta, G. Luzzatto : La propriety 
fondiaria neW epoca precomuntde. F. Flora : Per un trattato eompleto di economic 
politiea. A. Pagano : Del concetto di persona giuridica di diritto pubblico. 

Anno zii, Fasc. ii A Tamburini : La patzia neW evolutions deUa civiltd. 
W. Cunningham : II cristianesimo e i modemi ideali sociali. P. Bonfante : Tendente 
e metodi recenti negli studi storici. A. Solmi : La diffusions della civiltd romana e 
della civiltd britannica. 



Man. Vol. viii, No. 4. — ^Worthington G. Smith: England: Archctology. 
"Eoliths." C. Partridge: Folklore. The Killing of the Divine King. J. Gray: 
Physical Anthropology: Pigmentation. Prof. B. W. Beid : Solomon Islands. 

Vol. viii, No. 5.— B. Campbell Thompson : Africa : Sudan. The Ancient Oold- 
mines at Gebit in the Eastern Sudan. David I. Bushnell : America, North. Primi- 
tive Sedt'Making in the Mifsissippi Valley. Bev. J. Jette : America, North-West. 
On the Language of the Ten'a (II). Rev. B. Ashington BuUen : England: Archaeo- 
logy. Further Stone Implements from Harlyn Bay. 

Vol. viii, No. 6.— B. E. Dennett : Africa, West. At the back of the Black Man's 
Mind. C. Punch : Africa, West. Further Notes on the Relation of the Bronze 
Heads to the Carved Tusks, Benin City. A. Lang : Obituary. Alfred William 
Howitt.. Prof. Eug. Dubois: Physical Anthropology: Pigmentation. C. M. Wood- 
ford : Solomon Islands, 



Bbvub DBS Etudbs Ethnographiqubs et Sogiolooiqubs, March 1908. — ^A van 
Gennep : Une nouvelle icnture negre; sa portie thiorique. The discovery has been 
made by Herr Gohring of a system of writing among the Bamum, the second known 
to have been invented by negroes. The system has only lately been formulated. It 
consists largely of ideograms. Gaudefroy-Demonbynes : Rites, mitiers, noms d'agent 
et noms de mitier en arabe. Linguistic changes as regards certain names may be 



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PERIODICAL LITERATURE 317 

interppeied sociologically by reference to the evolution of funeral rites which pass 
from the hands of the family to those of paid professionals. A. Werner : Some Notts 
on the Bushmen Race, Maurice Delafosse : Le peujde Siina ou Sinoufo (suite). 
Oabriel Ferrand : Note sur le cdandrier malgache et le Fandruana (suite). 



Yalb Review. Vol. xvii, No. 1. — Henry C. Emery : Ten Years* Regulation of 
the Stock Exchange in Oermany, Failure of the Qerman system of stock-exchange 
control. While succeeding in diminishing speculation, it eliminated the better element 
from the market, transferred business to foreign exchanges and narrowed the market 
to a small professional group. Lester W. Zartman : Mistakes in State Regulation of 
the Insurance Business. The enactments of the State legislatures have been character- 
ised by conflicting aims and ignorance of the issues. The remedy suggested is in 
laws securing publicity and responsibility, these laws to be enforced by a national 
department of insurance. Max Ferrand : The West and the Principles of the Revolu- 
tion. The relation of the Colonies to Qreat Britain at the time of the Revolution 
was duplicated in the internal relation of the frontier to the coast. W. W. 
Willoughby : The Political Theories of John W. Burgess. A critical estimate of 
Professor Burgess* theories as found in his Political Science and Comparative Con- 
stitutional Law. Henry S. Lyon : What Proportion of Voters neglect to go to the 
Polls? The normal average of voters for presidential elections is 84*5 per cent. 
Deducting the disqualified from the remainder, it is found that 8*5 per cent, 
voluntarily abstain. 



The Economic Jottbnal. Vol. xviii, No. 70. — Prof. W. J. Ashley : The Enlarge- 
m>ent of Economics. The study of economics in England is passing from the old 
academic basis to one more closely related to the business requirements of the com- 
munity. Prof. A. C. Pigou : Equilibrium under Bilateral Monopoly. Miss B. L. 
Hutchins : Gaps in our Factory Legislation. Advocates reforms in the way of 
shortening the hours of work, improving the regulations for health and increasing 
wages, the latter involving control of the fine-system. R. A. Bray : The Eqtudisation 
of Rates in London. William Smith : Back to the Land. Progress of the small- 
holdings movement in Scotland. In small-holdings generally, the success of experi- 
ments has been indifferent. Dependance upon conditions and methods. F. 0. Lyons ; 
A Plea for Reform in the Assessment of Rmlways. 



QuABTERLT JOURNAL OF ECONOMICS. Vol. xxii, No. 3. — F. W. Taussig : Capitaiy 
Interest and Diminishing Returns. Henry C. Adams : Administrative Supervision of 
Railways under the Twentieth Section of the Act to Regulate Commerce. Alvin S. 
Johnson : The Relation of Monopoly Price to the Rate of Interest. Victor S. Clark : 
Australian Economic Problems. I. The Railways. Edward Sherwood Meade : The 
Price Policy of the United States Steel Corporation. 



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3X8 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 



BOOKS RECEIVED. 



Hook, Alfred. Humanity and ita Problems. Methuen, 58. net. 
Hall, J. Fielding. Hie Inward Light. Macmillan, lOs. net. 
Balfour, Right Hon. A. J. Decadence. Cambridge Universitj 

Frees, Is^ 6d. net. 
Yinogradoff, Paul. English Society in the Eleventh Century. 

Clarendon Press, IBs. net. 
Yilliers, Brougham. The Socialist Movement in England. 

Fisher Unwin, lOs. 6d. net. 
Scullard, H. H. Early Christian Ethics in the West 

Williams k Norgate, 6s. 
Webb, Sidney and Beatrice. English Local Government: The 

Manor and the Borough. Longmans Green k Co., 2 vols., 

25s. net 
Wells, H. G. New Worlds for Old. Archibald Constable, 6s. 
Markham, Violet. Hie Factory and Shop Acts of the British 

Dominions. Eyre k Spottiswoode, 2s. 6d. net 
Adam, James. The Religious Teachers of Greece. T. k T. 

Clark, Edinburgh, 10s. 6d. net. 
Draganof. Macedonia and the Reforms. 
Wilson, Albert^ M.D. Education, Personality, and Crime. 

Greening, 7s. 6d. net. 
Strachey, J. St. Loe. Problems and Perils of Socialism. 

Letters to a Working Man. Macmillan, 6d. 
Sighele, Scipio. Litt^rature et Criminality. Giard k Bri^re. 
Graham, David. The Grammar of Philosophy. T. k T. Clark, 

7s. 6d. net 
Eidd, Benjamin. Individualism and After. Herbert Spencer 

Lecture, 29th May, 1908. Clarendon Press, Is. net 
Jones, Russell Lowell, M.A. International Arbitration as a 

Substitute for War between Nations. University Press, 

St. Andrews, 5s. net. 
Soziologie. Untersuchungen iiber die Formen der Verge- 

sellschaftung. Duncker k Humblot 
Green, Alice Stopford. The Making of Ireland and iU 

Undoing. Macmillan, 10s. net 



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NOTES AND NOTICES 3X9 

NOTES AND NOTICES. 



THE INTERNATIONAL VISITS ASSOCIATION. 

As a resnlt of some experimental visits to Denmark, Sweden and Norway, the 
International Visits Association has been founded this year. The Earl of Stamford, 
who has taken part in a visit to Denmark, is the president; the council numbers 
amongst its members Professor Edgeworth, Professor Geddes, Mrs. J. B. Macdonald, 
Mr. Michael Sadler, ProfeMor Vinogradofif, Mr. Sidney Webb, and Mr. Philip 
Wicksteed. 

The object of the international visits is to give the people of different countries 
an opportunity of making each other's acquaintance, in person, and of learning 
something of each other's institutions, on the spot. With this object, courses of 
lectures have been arranged in Copenhagen, Stockholm and Christiania, on the 
most characteristic features of the different countries, their history, government, 
institutions and literature. These lectures are delivered in English by ''native" 
lecturers, who themselves are either among the leaders of the different movements, 
or else, as teachers and officials, have practical acquaintance with the different 
systems and institutions. In connection with the lectures, visits have been paid, 
under "native" guidance, to the most characteristic institutions of the country 
while, at receptions and debates, the visitors and "natives" have learned to know 
something of each other and to interchange views on different subjects. The visitors 
are not all English : since the first year there have always been some Dutch among 
them and, on one occasion, a small party came from Bohemia. 

Five visits have been paid to Denmark, one to Sweden, and one to Norway. 
This year, the last visit is to be repeated. The programme has been drawn up 
with the help of Hr. Chr. L. Lange, the secretary of the Nobel Committee and the 
University of Christiania has kindly placed a lecture-room and office at the disposal 
of the party. The lectures are given in English by some of the best Norwegian 
authorities on the different subjects. They are arranged in five sections : — " The 
History of Norway," "Social and Industrial Life," "Government and Institutions," 
"Social Movements," "Norwegian Literature and Art." The programme may be 
had on application to the Hon. Secretary, Miss F. M. Butlin, Old Headington, 
Oxford. A glance at the syllabus which accompanies each lecture will show that 
there is much that is likely to interest English visitors in the state of Norway. 
Manhood suffrage, one chamber parliamentarism, unrestricted municipal activities, 
employment bureaus, women with votes, five daily Socialist papers, local veto at 
work, total prohibition in certain districts, peasant proprietors, co-operative dairies, 
commercial banks, small holdings and state holdings might almost be called sensa- 
tional items in the light of some burning questions here at home. For those who 
are interested in social and national questions, these lectures form a complete 
guide-book with the additional advantage that, as questions are allowed, difficulties 
may be solved on the spot. F. M. B. 



At the last meeting of the Senate of the University of London a resolution was 
passed making a paper on "Social Philosophy and Comparative Ethics" one of the 
nine required for the B.A. (Honours) examination in Philosophy. For this paper the 
following syllabus was adopted. 

I. General Conditions of Social Life. 

Ethical Principles and Psychological Factors. 

Personality and the Community. 

Self Interest, Duty, and Social Feeling. 



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3» THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

II. SocuJ Organiaatioii. 
The Family. 
The Social Unit 
Political Society. 

The State and Political Obligation. 
Qreek Views of the State. The Social Contract. 

The Principles of the Oraatest Happiness, and of the Realisation of 
Personality in Society. 

III. Moral Aspects of Social Relations. Morality in rriation to Law and Ciutooi. 
(a) Rights. 

The Law of Nature. Modem conceptions of the Basb of Rights. 
Caste and Class Relations. Slavery and Serfdom. 
Liberty and Equality. 

Fnndamental Principles of International Law and Morality. 
(6) Sanctions. 
ReqK>nsibility. 
Reward and Ponishment. 
Revenge and Justice. 

IV. Property. Its basis and functions. 

V. Moral Evolution — Its meaning and criteria. 

Factors in Growth. Moral Psychology. Morals and Religion. 
Morals and the Social Order. 
Another of the nine papers may be on Economics, ^Ssthetics, Experimental 
Psychology or Sociology. If chosen in Sociology the following syllabus will be used. 

StLLABITB IK SOCIOLOGT. 

Note. — ^As the subject of Sociology has been so recently introduced, it is thought 
desirable to indicate the scope of the subject as set forth in the following Syllabus. 
In dealing with this subject in the Examination candidates will be allowed a 
choice of questions. 

1. Sociology in its relations to Biology and Psychology. The principle of 

evolution applied to Social Phenomena. 

2. Forms of Family Structure : — Maternal and Paternal Descent. Power of 

the Head of the Family. Joint and individual property. Regulation 
of Marriage. Position of Women. 
8. The Forms of Social Structure : — The Clan and Tribe. Monarchy, 
Feudalism, the City State. The Modem State. Fedoral Government. 

4. The Development of Social Control -.—The Blood Feud. Retaliation. 

Compensation. Primitive Courts and Processes. The Oaths and the 
Ordeal. Growth of Public Justice and Rational Procedure. In- 
dividual and Collective Responsibility. Punishment and Prevention 
of Crime. 

5. Religious and other beliefs in their bearing on social relations. Influence 

of Magic, Animism, Ancestor-worship, Polytheism, the World 
Religions, on Social Morality. Antithesis of Temporal and Spiritual 
Powers. 



At the last meeting of the Council of the Sociological Society, Lieut. -Colonel 
Ernest Roberts, I.M.S., was appointed Assis. Hon. Secretary. 



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THE 

Sociological Review 

VOL. L No. 4. OCTOBER, 1908. 

THE PROBLEM OF DECADENCE. 

In his interesting Sidgwick Lecture* Mr. Balfour discourses, 
with his accustomed felicity and acuteness, on questions of grave 
importance to the sociologist and politician. His main question is 
the old one — ^whether, through mere lapse of time, states and 
societies of men tend to decay and dissolution just as the individual 
does, or whether, unlike man himself, they are potentially immortal 
and subject only to accident and disease. Is decadence a feature of 
the group, as senescence is of all its component members? The 
author is inclined to answer that it is. But his discussion is pro- 
fessedly tentative, and his arguments may be said to indicate a 
preference without seeking to establish a thesis. Perhaps a 
definite conclusion is impossible in the present state of our know- 
ledge. Little more can be done than formulate the problem and 
examine the conditions of its solution. 

In order to understand the problem aright the question should 
be asked. What do we mean by Decadence when we speak of it as 
a feature of the social group and compare it with the senescence of 
the individual organism ? This question, however, may be turned 
by asking. What is Senescence? and by saying that the latter 
question is as puzzling to the physiologist as the former is to the 
sociologist. Now, it is true that the physiologist is unable to give 
a definition which will satisfy all the demands of science. He 
holds that living protaplasm does not carry the "seeds of death " 
within itself. It is potentially immortal. And yet all organisms 
except the very lowest become in time less able to maintain their 
life. The physiologist is thus in a difficulty; but in face of this 
difficulty he is not left without resource. He can describe with 
some exactness the processes in which senescence is manifested. 
Reduced to their simplest terms these may be said to consist in the 
diminished efficiency of bodily metabolism. The organism as a 

* Decadence. Henry Sidgwick Memorial Lecture. By the Right Hon. Arthur 
James Balfour, M.P. (Delivered at Newnham College, January 25, 1908). 
Cambridge : at the University Press, 1908. 



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322 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

whole and its several orf^^ans become in time less able than before 
to assimilate nourishment and to reject waste products. The 
explanation of this phenomenon is indeed still to seek. At any 
rate it has not been explained in physico-chemical terms. The 
body does not deteriorate as a machine does. From the first day 
of its use a machine begins to wear away by friction, and it has no 
way of restoring the loss. It is different with the organism. Up 
to a certain period — fairly well marked in the life of the human 
body as a whole and in that of its separate organs — metabolic 
efficiency increases; thereafter ensues a period of what may be 
called roughly equilibrium ; after which the organism as a whole — 
or the particular organ — ^becomes less able to cope with its environ- 
ment, repair of tissue becomes less sure, waste accumulates, and 
decay begins. Why is it that the curve of life thus changes in 
direction from efficiency to inefficiency, from growing power to 
increasing weakness ? The only answer that has been given to this 
question is frankly teleological in character : the individual decays 
and dies in the interests of the race ; the time of his maturity and 
the period of his life are determined by the needs of the next 
generation. Whether facts are forthcoming to support Weis- 
mann's contention that this adaptation is itself a result of natural 
selection is a biological question which need not trouble us at 
present. The physiologist cannot explain senescence just as he 
cannot explain life; but he is able to describe its fundamental 
features and to show its correlation with the interests of the race. 
Can anything similar be done for the idea of Decadence? 

If we would answer this question it is necessary, first of all, to 
have some idea of the kind of group or community of which 
decadence is asserted. Is it the race that decays ? or the nation ? 
or the state? Many other types of community might be men- 
tioned. But these may be taken as fundamental forms, seeing 
that they correspond with different principles of grouping. Race 
is a biological conception : it implies simply the fact of common 
ancestry and whatever other characteristics that fact many carry 
in its train. Nation, on the other hand, may be asserted to be 
primarily a psychological conception. Community of race con- 
tributes to national unity; but, with such a case as that of the 
United States before us, can hardly be described as indispensable. 
Again, a nation may persist even although its members are dis- 
persed over the face of the earth and subjected to different govern- 
ments. Nationality is, therefore, not a political conception ; it is a 
Culturbegriff ; its essential features are neither physical nor 



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THE PROBLEM OF DECADENCE 3«3 

political but mental : community of tradition, of culture, of 
interests. If there is not also a common language to serve as the 
vehicle of these experiences, some strong spiritual force — historical 
or political in origin — is needed to fuse them into unity. The 
State is an entity of a different kind — however much national 
unity and some similarity of racial origin amongst the people may 
contribute to its strength. Its essential character consists in its 
being a self-governing unit, which can act and be acted on as a 
unit : in other words, it is a subject of rights and duties. State is 
accordingly an ethical and political conception, and is in this way 
contrasted with the conception of Nation, which is psychological, 
and with that of Race, which is biological. It is true that races 
and nations and states are not grouped apart. But, if Decadence 
is asserted, we wish to know whether it is as a biological, a psycho- 
logical, or a political characteristic : whether it holds primarily of 
the race, or of the nation, or of the state, or whether it results from 
some combination of the three. 

It is easiest to begin with the race, for it is a biological concep- 
tion, and the question which we have to ask is whether anything 
analogous to the biological fact of senescence applies to it : whether 
the race, like the individual, is marked for death. At first sight, 
at any rate, there seems much to be said for an affirmative answer 
to this question. It would seem reasonable to expect that, the 
purer the race, the less varied will be the characters of its members, 
and the greater its fixity of structure from generation to generation. 
In this way we may anticipate that a pure race will not readily 
adapt itself to a changing environment : so that it will compete 
unfavourably with a mixed race in an environment which is in 
process of modification ; intermixture of races will thus be neces- 
sary to progress — in the long run, even to survival. But even if 
this conclusion holds — and the biological premises are perhaps 
doubtful — the analogy of race to individual is by no means exact. 
Although the environment remain unchanged from year to year 
the individual organism loses its power of adaptation ; on the other 
hand, it is only to face a changing environment that the race is 
held to be unfit. Were there any evidence to show that, with the 
mere lapse of time, the race becomes increasingly set and hardened 
in structure so that it gets more and more difficult for it to respond 
to the call even of the same environment, then indeed this evidence 
would be to the point. But such knowledge as we have of the 
matter hardly seems to support the view. It is difficult to believe 
that the full-blooded negroes, for example, have less vitality to-day 



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324 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

than they had five hundred years ago, or that the Jew of pure race 
is less able now to cope with circumstances than his ancestors were 
in the days of the Maccabees. The record of extinct and decadent 
races — ^were we able to read it — might be found to be a record of 
inability to respond to new conditions by which no earlier genera- 
tion had been tried, rather than a history of increasing weakness 
in presence of similar circumstances. The persistence of certain 
types makes it dangerous to assert that a race simply as such tends 
to decadence. 

Perhaps, however, it may seem that the teleological principle 
that determines the senescence of the individual has its analogue 
for the race. Just as the interests of a race are served by the death 
of its individual members, so it may be held that the decay and 
disappearance of particular races will be for the good of mankind 
as a whole. It is difficult to deny the bare possibility of this being 
true, though the advantage to be gained seems less obvious than 
in the former case. The benefit which a race derives from the 
death of its individual members is correlated with the inability of 
the individual not merely to adapt himself to new surroundings, but 
even tocontinueadapting himself to the conditions of life to which he 
has been accustomed ; and it does not seem to have been made out 
that the race fails in the latter respect, although it may be unequal 
to the former adaptation. Thus the interests of mankind are not 
so clearly implicated in the disappearance of races as the interests 
of a race are in the death of individuals. History tells us of many 
dead or decadent races. But there is no evidence that I know of 
sufficient to justify the belief that their decadence is analogous to 
man's senescence, that their vitality dries up of itself — ^as it were — 
quite apart from the stress of new and changed circumstances. 
We have frequently witnessed the extinction of races when their 
mode of life was disturbed by new conditions and contact with an 
alien civilisation. If races which once flourished have died out 
without their extinction being preceded by any marked change in 
their physical or social environment, the record of their decay 
would be evidence to the point. 

It seems to me, therefore, that there is no sufficient evidence to 
prove that there is a racial principle of decadence corresponding 
to the individual principle of senescence, and that such analogy as 
exists between race and individual does not justify us in expecting 
A priori that there should be such corresponding principles. And, 
even if such racial decadence were a reality, it would apply to pure 
races only. Otherwise the principle would tend to the extinction 



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THE PROBLEM OF DECADENCE 3^5 

of mankind, not merely to the decay of races ; if the pure race is 
doomed, it is only through intermixture of races that man can 
possibly survive. Accordingly, if pure races decay, there must be 
conditions in which mixed races are free from decadence; and the 
nature of these conditions will become a question of prime import- 
ance. Mixed races have taken the lead in civilisation : even a race 
such as the German, which may be called pure in compiarison with 
some other race such as the French, cannot make out a claim to 
purity in the strict biological sense. Degrees of purity, or — what 
comes to the same thing — degrees of intermixture vary indefinitely. 
And the relative value for human progress of different degrees of 
intermixture is a complex question on which not only history may 
shed light. The physiologist also may have something to say as 
to the limits within which intermarriage with an alien stock will 
strengthen the fibre of a race, and the point after which biological 
differences between the parents are so great as to act unfavourably 
upon the offspring. 

There is nothing in the life-history of individuals to compare 
with the intermixture of strains which characterises the develop- 
ment of races; and, on this account, the biological principle of 
senescence which applies to the former cannot be translated liter- 
ally into an assertion of the decadence of the latter. When we 
pass from the race to the nation the biological principle becomes 
a still more uncertain analogy. It is not merely that the nation 
may preserve its continuous identity in spite of considerable modi- 
fication of its physiological basis by the intermixture of races, k 
is because the essence of nationality is not "organic" — as we use 
that term to describe physical life. It might be called super- 
organic, in Herbert Spencer's phrase; more exactly, it is mental 
or super-mental : for it is constituted by ideas and psychical ten- 
dencies which are not restricted to an individual consciousness. 
If we are to assert decadence of the nation, we must mean that this 
complex of ideas and tendencies becomes by lapse of time unfit to 
deal with its environment, so that the spiritual bond is loosened 
and the nation falls — a victim of internal discord or a prey to the 
enemies on its frontier. Such has often been the fate of nations; 
but is there anything to show that it is a necessary fate? It is 
hard to set limits to a nation's power of adapting itself to circum- 
stances. Not merely the infusion of new blood by racial inter- 
mixture, but also the power of learning by new experiences 
produces modifications on the national spirit. There is ample 
evidence to show how great this modification may be without the 



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3a6 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

identity of the nation being obscured. The short history of the 
American people is a case in point. Their character has been 
changed by the races they have absorbed and by the problems they 
have faced ; but the national identity has not been destroyed. Is 
there any ground for asserting that progressive modification of 
this sort must at some point cease to be adequate to maintain the 
life of the nation, which must then be supplanted by some other 
nation ? If this is the case the supplanting nation will presumably 
be a *' new " nation, that is, a nation less matured to the arts and 
habits of civilisation. It is impossible to deny d priori that this is 
the course of human history : that the progress of nations is neces- 
sarily followed by decay, their place and their work being handed 
on to ruder or less cultured successors, and that civilisation, like 
Antaeus, must renew its strength from time to time by contact with 
mother earth. It is impossible to deny all this. But to produce 
any evidence for it worthy of the name would need an analysis of 
the causes of the fall of nations more accurate than has yet been 
attempted, or perhaps than is possible with our limited store 
of facts. 

The grounds for the prevalent belief in the principle of national 
decadence are largely d priori, and depend on the vague analc^^ 
with individual senescence. When we examine this analogy more 
closely two questions emerge. One question is. Do nations in the 
course of time exhibit diminished power of so dealing with their 
environment as to assimilate the factors in it which contribute to a 
healthy national life and to reject the products which are merely 
burdensome or noxious? This is not a question of progress or 
adaptability to fresh conditions, but simply of ability to preserve 
a relatively stationary state. To establish the required thesis it 
would be necessary to show that the decline of national life in any 
given case was due simply to internal decay and not to the action 
of new and hostile forces acting from without. It has not even 
been made out that **new** nations are better fitted than old 
nations to strike out the fresh varieties of activity required by the 
progressive state. It is true that historical reflexion has been 
everywhere impressed by the analc^^ between the rise and fall of 
nations and the growth and decay of individuals. A nation, like 
an individual, may win its position in the world by a struggle 
which calls forth all the energies of its members. Afterwards, 
when its position is secure, the strain is relaxed, there is less call 
for the old keenness, activities slacken, ideals degenerate into catch- 
words, and men take their ease in Zion. The characteristic is 



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THE PROBLEM OF DECADENCE 337 

often seen in smaller groups as welK " Clods to clods in three 
generations" is an old phrase used to describe the rapid rise and 
fall of manufacturing families in the early days of the factory 
system. But the causes of this deterioration are patent, and uould 
seem to be preventible. It is hardly justifiable to place them on a 
par with the diminishing efficiency of bodily metabolism which is 
an essential characteristic of every human being. They have 
never been shown to be universal characteristics of society. Many 
families of factory lords have continued their successful careers far 
beyond the proverbial three generations. And the persistence of 
national life among such a people as Jews, even without the help 
of any political organisation of their own, shows that it is possible 
to maintain the national spirit for an indefinite time and to counter- 
act the tendencies hostile to its survival. 

The second question referred to is. Would the interests of man- 
kind be promoted by national Decadence? If we could show that 
humanity would be served by the perpetual repetition of this pro- 
cess of the extinction and rebuilding of nations, then perhaps we 
might be justified in admitting Decadence, not as an established 
principle, but as an hypothesis in the light of which facts might be 
viewed and whose validity might be tested by its ability to shed 
light on these facts. It is difficult, however, to justify this view, 
even as a working hypothesis. A national civilisation does not 
disappear without untold loss to mankind — ^a loss which can be 
made good by its successors by slow and painful steps only. It 
would have been a gain to humanity if the older civilisation could 
have been cured of the elements of weakness that led to its decay 
without the advantage of its solid achievements being lost. The 
hypothesis goes on the assumption that this is impossible, and that 
at some undetermined period in the life of every nation the valuable 
results of its civilisation must be sacrificed to some inherent and 
growing weakness. This is the analogy of national decadence 
with individual senescence. The defect of the analogy is that the 
period at which senescence begins is fairly well marked in the case 
of the individual, whereas there is nothing to enable us to mark the 
period in a nation's life at which senescence may be expected to 
appear. When a national civilisation — ^whether young or old — 
falls to pieces, by what criterion can we decide whether the disaster 
was due to curable disease or to accident or to this mysterious 
principle of decadence? We may indeed point to cases in which 
the historical explanations commonly given of the fall of nations 
seem to us inadequate. But it has not been established that this 



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328 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

difficulty arises only or even mainly in accounting for the disap- 
pearance of civilisations that have had a long history behind them. 
When a young man succumbs to a disease from which an older 
man recovers, the result is not put down to senescence, although 
the physician may be unable to give a satisfactory explanation of 
the difference between the two cases. The principle of senescence 
can be used to explain mortality in some cases because it has been 
shown that after a certain number of decades the physical organism 
begins to lose its metabolic power. Senescence has its period of 
commencement. Similarly decadence might be admitted as a 
working hypothesis in historical explanation if we could show that 
after a given number of centuries or millennia a nation lost its power 
of responding successfully to its environment. Until this has been 
done it is not a good working hypothesis. No sort of definition is 
given as to what constitutes age in a nation by means of which we 
might be able to draw some kind of rough distinction between the 
circumstances in which the hypothesis of decadence may be applied 
and the circumstances to which it is inapplicable. When we talk 
of the birth, maturity, and old age of nations we use a biological 
analogy which is as apt to mislead as to instruct. Nations are, of 
course, historical products which have their rise and fall in time, 
Sometimes we are able to date the birth of a nation from a com- 
bination of striking events which awakened a consciousness of 
common interests and destiny amongst a people. But more com- 
monly the national spirit arises without observation, the product 
of many forces acting through long periods of time, so that the 
birth of the nation cannot be even approximately dated. Whether 
we are to call it old or young at any given time will depend on an 
arbitrary decision as to the most fitting period for beginning to 
describe the people as a nation ; and on this arbitrary decision it 
will also depend whether at some subsequent period it will be 
possible for the nation to be suffering from decadence. 

In this respect the State differs from the nation. It has a defi- 
nite organisation which makes it less difficult for us to mark the 
time of its origin and the periods of its historical growth. In other 
respects, however, it resembles the nation, inasmuch as its consti- 
tuent factors are psychical forces ; and the difficulties already met 
with in attempting to apply the principle of decadence to the nation 
re-appear when we seek to interpret the history of states by means 
of the biological analogy. It is unnecessary to repeat points which 
have been already made. And the leading difference by which the 
state is distinguished from the nation does not make the hypothesis 



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THE PROBLEM OF DECADENCE 329 

of decadence more probable. In the state the psychical forces that 
make the nation — ^assuming, for simplicity's sake, that the state 
consists of a single nation — are organised in such a way that it can 
act and be acted on as a unit. For this purpose the state must be 
served by individual administrators or rulers who act for it or even 
as if they were it. The problem which constitutional government 
is trying to solve is to make these individual administrators and 
rulers both representative of the national life and at the same time 
a force tending to its improvement. The two objects are not 
irreconcilable. For the national life is never at rest : wise guidance 
of its changing tendencies may make it stronger, nobler, more self- 
reliant ; while the folly of dishonesty of statesmen may lead to its 
deterioration. Intelligence and deliberate purpose are thus more 
powerful agents in determining the destiny of states than they are 
in directing the life of a nation which is not organised politically. 

This is one circumstance that makes it difficult for us to admit 
the proposition that decadence is inherent in the nature of a state. 
We see ruin overtaking states both new and old. The former 
event affects the imagination less than the latter, but it is far more 
common. In the former case we frequently blame bad government 
for the result. Do we allow sufficiently for the operation of the 
same cause when the gradual dissolution or sudden fall of an 
ancient empire is set down to decadence? Before we accept this 
conclusion we should be prepared to show that the result was not 
due to a bad system of government or to lack of intelligence or 
honesty on the part of the rulers. And if these were the operative 
causes then it may be hoped that they are preventible causes, that 
it does not pass the wit of man to guard against them. Or, if 
decadence is still asserted, and these are said to be but its signs, 
then we shall be compelled to assert the further proposition that 
social or political life, by its mere continuance, tends after a certain 
time to deteriorate the mental and moral qualities of its members. 
It is impossible to disprove this proposition, or to prove it. 
Indeed, the whole question of the existence of a social principle of 
decadence is singularly elusive: at first sight it is an attractive 
analogy; but it ignores the differences between an individual 
organism and a society, and it evades definite tests. Perhaps there 
may be a certain consolation to some minds in the reflexion that the 
disasters which happen to societies of men are due to an inexorable 
law of their being and not to preventible causes in their members 
and rulers. But there are other observers of political events who 
are less astonished at the fall of empires than at the relative 
stability of states in spite of the inefficiency of their governments. 

W. R. SORLEY. 



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330 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 



AUTHORITY IN UNCIVILISED SOCIETY. 

** European visitors," says Dr, Codrington in The Melanesians^ 
"carry with them the persuasion that savage people are always ruled 
by chiefs." But so far is this from the truth, that anthropological 
research constantly increases the number of rude societies known 
to us in which the authoritarian principle is very slightly developed. 
Among ** savages," in fact, — ^among people whose material culture 
is markedly simple, it is rarely that we find a form of authority 
which can properly be called chieftainship. 

When Nordenskiold asked an Eskimo in N.W. Greenland 
whether he would not admit that the Danish Inspector was superior 
to him, he got for answer : "That is not so certain ; the Inspector 
has more property, and appears to have more power, but there are 
people in Copenhagen whom he must obey. / receive orders from 
non.e/" The same haughty self-esteem, Nordenskiold adds, one 
meets with in the gamma of the reindeer Lapps and the skin tent 
of the Chukchi.i 

To the Yahgans, the Veddahs, the Nicobarese — of whom Marco 
Polo notes^ that "they have no king nor chief, but live like 
beasts" — chieftainship is equally unknown. On the other hand, 
absolute equality is to be found in no human society. The rudi- 
ments of authority appear within the Family itself, in the subor- 
dination of wife to husband and children to elders, though even 
this subordination is less marked under conditions of great material 
simplicity.^ 

1. Nordenskiold y Voyage of the Vega, trans. Leslie, London, 1886. 31. 

2. Dampier, of the Nicobttrese: "They live under no government that I conld 
perceive, for they seem to be equal, without any distinction, every man ruling in his 
own house." 

C. Boden Kloss, In the Andamans and Nicobars, 242. The Nicobarese enjoy 
"complete social equality. Everyone, even children, is his own master; but persons 
who have been abroad, in virtue of their experience, are respected and have some 
authority, as also have the aged and wealthy. But there is no one who has power 
to exercise control even over a single village, save in the way of carrying out 
popular ideas." 

Cf. Svoboda, Die Bewokner des Nikobaren-Archipels, Intemat, Archiv fUr Ethn.^ 
M. v., 191. 

3. For example, among the Shom Pen (wild tribe of Great Nicobar), the Semang 
of the Malay Peninsula, and the Chukchi of Cape Irkaipi, the women appear to be 
on an equality with the men. Boden Kloss, In the Andamant and Nicobarf, 220. 
Skeat and Blagden, Pagan Races. Nordenskidid, op. ctf., 184. 



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AUTHORITY IN UNCIVILISED SOCIETY 33r 

There are some societies considerably removed from the state 
of savagery — especially societies organised on the basis of pwiternal 
kinship — in which this patriarchal authority, extending its scope 
with the enlargement of the family by natural increase and 
fictions, continues to suffice for government. Thus in the pastoral 
communities of the Asiatic steppes, the pater-familias holds entire 
and unquestioned authority over all his descendants for the whole 
of his lifetime : at his death, his power passes to the oldest surviv- 
ing member of his generation or of the next. The patriarch is 
supreme within the enlarged famify, and outside the family, 
authority is simply non-existent.^ 

At the same time, in the simplest local association of families, 
there will be personal inequality, however slight, and certain indi- 
viduals will take the lead under certain circumstances. Thus 
among the Shom Pen, there was generally one man in each party, 
who by virtue possibly of superior intelligence or knowledge of the 
coast language, seemed to have some slight authority over the 
remainder.^ 

Certain lines of development from this casual and informal 
type of authority are to be studied in this i>aper. From the present 
enquiry must be excluded those interesting cases where authority 
has been developed in simple societies under the pressure of outside 
influence. The expectati(Mis of foreign visitors, who look to find 
in savage institutions something comparable to their own govern- 
ment — the necessities of trade — responsibility for taxation or for 
the maintenance of order under new conditions — these often lead to 
a shifting of the balance of power, and even set up a form of 
authority in societies where it was almost unknown. ''A trader or 
other visitor looks for a chief, and finds such a one as he expects ; 
a very insignificant person comes in this way to be called, and to 
call himself, the king of the island, and his consideration among 
his own people is of course enormously enhanced by what white 
people make of him. The practice, moreover, of the commanders 
of ships of war, by which local chiefs are held responsible for the 

f 

1. Patriarchal anthoriiy over an enlarged family-group may survive the appear- 
ance of a pouvoir public outside it, e.^., the pastoral-agricultural community of 
Montenegro. 

2. Boden Kloss, op, cit, 219. Cf. Onillemard, "The Papoani," Australasia, 1894, 
▼oL ii. : " Chiefs are unknown. Certain individnala, by force of character, have morv 
inflnenoe than others . . . but this inflnenoe seems to be but slight, and each persoD 
is obedient to himself alone, or to some unwritten code of public opinion." 



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532 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

conduct of their people, and are treated as if they had considerable 
power, undoubtedly increases their importance."^ 

In Kar Nicobar **The village headman and his deputy are 
a recent institution of the authorities to simplify the procedure 
of controlling the natives. The opinion of the village is gener- 
ally taken on the question, and if approved of, their nominees 
are invested with a certificate, a flag, and a suit of clothes, pre- 
sented yearly. The headmen can command no obedience, and 
enforce no laws; they work only by persuasion. . • • the more 
influential deliberate on vexed questions, and impose fines, 
which seem always paid. As the headman now stands, he is the 
successor of the village * captain ' or presiding elder, who had 
no other functions but to represent the community on the arrival 
of ships, and to regulate barter. His office and title were insti- 
tuted by the natives when relations with European vessels 
became frequent, in order that they might have some represen- 
tative to correspond to the commanding officer."* 
Setting aside these artificial developments, let us enquire in 
what forms the principle of authority manifests itself in simple 
societies, taking as the point of departure, the fact of personal 
inequality. It will be convenient to set down a few concrete 
examples before proceeding to any generalization : — 

Among the Northern tribes of Central Australia, there is no 
one to whom the term chief can properly be applied. . . . But 
in everyday life the greatest deference is paid to old men. Men 
of superior ability and tribal learning are especially respected : 
tradition credits them with reforms in custom : such old men 
have a special title, Oknirabata. . . • The leading men, head- 
men of totem-groups have a special title ; their persons are sacred 
to some extent. This headship descends, with some exceptions, 
from father to son. . . . Whenever a number of natives are 
met to perform ceremonies, there are always the heads of local 

1. Codrington, The Melanenans, 46. Cf. Morgan, Ancient Society , New York, 
1907, 145 (King of the Iroquois). 

2. C. Boden Kloss. In the Andamans and Nicobars, 241. The hUtory of the 
tnamoose of the Torres Straits Islands is somewhat similar. Gf. Nordenskiold, 
op. cU., 1881 ed., i., 449; ii., 125 (Chukchi of Cape Irkaipi). A person somewhat 
better off than the rest supposed at first to be a chief and treated accordingly — this 
found to he a mistake — A sort of chieftainship created among the reindeer Chukchea 
of the interior by the action of the Russian authorities, from whom some natives 
hold commissions as starosts, — Their pretensions derided by other natives — On the 
coast "we coidd never discover the smallest trace of any man exercising the least 
authority beyond his own family or his own tent." 



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AUTHORITY IN UNCIVILISED SOCIETY 333 

groups present. The elder and more important among these 
seem naturally to associate together as an informal but all- 
powerful council. (This council controls the ceremonies and 
punishes serious offences like ** bone-giving; " if a native breaks 
the marriage laws the older men consult together and arrange 
for an atninga party to punish the culprit,) The fact that any 
individual is the headman of his group gives him in itself no 
claim to attend upon these councils. If, however, he be at all a 
distinguished man, whose conduct has shown that he is to be 
trusted, and that he is deeply interested in tribal matters, he will 
be invited by one of the older men to come and consult over 
matters. He will probably be invited several times, and will 
then gradually take his place as a recognised member of the 
inner council of the tribe, his influence increasing as he grows 
older. — (Spencer and Gillen, Northern Tribes: 20, 22, 23, 24^ 
25, 280 et passim.) 

Among the Bongo of Central Africa, so far as a government 
has not been imposed on them by conquest, the leading man in 
each village is the rich cultivator. Among these negroes few 
men grow rich — on the cultivation of the dourrah — until they 
are old, and few live to be old, so that the nyere are a smalt 
class. The man who has a surplus of dourrah every year, 
whose daughters have married well and brought him a store of 
hoe-money, is surrounded by client-debtors who work for him. 
His experience gains him prestige. He is in communication 
with a strong fetish ; and undertakes the policing of the village,, 
because he has most to lose. (De Pr^ville, Les Societes Afru 
caines, 257—259.) 

In Melanesia the chief is essentially the person who shows 
himself possessed of more than the ordinary share of mana — 
which in this connection may be roughly translated luck* 
Every eminent man is supposed to be in communication with a 
powerful tindalo or ghost, from whom he derives his mana. 
His orders are obeyed and his tambu respected because they are 
backed by mana. A chief tries to hand down this position to 
his son or his sister's son; he teaches him the proper way to 
approach his tindalo; but unless the son can show himself 

1. Ling Roth, T. A. I., 1899; 117. With the Yekris, Sobos, and Ijos of the Niger 
Protectorate, the head of the village is the oldest man or the richest man ; there is no- 
hard and fast rule. C. Boden Kloss, op. cU., 243. Much deference is paid to age,, 
especially when it is combined with wealth. 



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J34 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

possessed of mana by success and general impressiveness he 
will not retain any authority. 

Mana manifests itself in successful hunting, speaking, head- 
hunting. Perhaps most of all in wealth. In the Suqe, a club 
found in every village in the Torres Islands, Banks Islands, and 
North New Hebrides, advancement depends entirely on a display 
of superfluity. At each stage the candidate makes a feast to the 
members, sometimes very elaborate, to gain social distinction; 
pigs and yams are eaten, money given away, ** No one can 
have this superfluity unless he has mana; therefore a man high 
in the Suqe is evidently a man with m^na, a great man, one who 
may be called a chief, whom traders may call a king." In the 
absence of political organisation, a valuable bond of society is 
furnished by the Suqe. Control is vested in the rich men. 
Most men never rise above middle rank. Very few fail to be 
entered, as boys, by their friends. At every step money has to 
be paid to those who have already attained it, and a feast given .^ 

"The Bororo have the most centralised tribal organisation 
that we know of among the South American Indians, As soon as 
the children have been weaned they enter the Bahito. This is a 
public school, where the children are taught spinning, weaving, 
the manufacture of weapons, and above all singing, upon perfec- 
tion in which is centred the ambition of all who wish to become 
chieftains. '* If chieftain has son who sings not Bakururu, he 
is a common Bororo. Bororo who sings Bakururu well, he is 
chieftain/' If there are two good singers in the same village, 
either the one who is adjudged to sing somewhat the better is 
chief, or one of the two secedes with his followers and establishes 
a new village. On all occasions the chief is the leader, even on 
the plantations, where he generally works harder than anybody 
velse. No tributes are paid him, and he supports himself from 
the produce of his own plantation. . . . Every evening he goes 
before the Bahito where all the men are assembled, and, singing, 
^ives his commands. . * . he begins with a traditional religious 
chant. . . then recounts a journey or some matter of interest, and 
en'ds with definite commands to each person of the village regu- 
lating his work for the next day."* 

Who, then, are entitled to take the lead in the simple society ? 
The following classes, not mutually exclusive, suggest themselves : 

1. Codrfngton, Mdanaia, For privileges and daties of chiefs, see Codrington, 47. 

2. Fric and Radin« J. A. I., 1907. 

\ 

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AUTHORITY IN UNCIVILISED SOCIETY 315 

(a) The elders, in virtue of their seniority. This seems to be 
an extension of the discipline of the family; it is developed on 
rather diflferent lines in the patriarchal and in the " classificatory " 
kinship societies. Under favourable economic conditions, it is 
complicated with the question of wealth, and everywhere, with 
personal ability and experience. 

(6) The rich; from their economic importance (as in West 
Africa) ; or from the prestige obtained by an unproductive display 
of wealth (as in Melanesia). 

(c) The controllers of the dominant industry (what Dcmolins 
calls the chefs d'atelier). With the Bongos and Jekris this is 
agriculture ; with the Tartars and the Arabs, the pastoral art ; the 
whalers take the lead among the Aleuts,^ the dairymen with the 
Todas.2 

Where the whole community pursues the same trade, individual 
prestige must depend on personal aptitude for it, superior industry, 
dexterity : where specialisation is possible, all the practitioners of 
the dominant art enjoy collective prestige. They form a guild or 
free masonry, into which admission is by apprenticeship or initia- 
tion with payment, or an hereditary caste — a guild where much 
aptitude is wanted, a caste where tradition will suffice. This is 
why the only Central Australian leaders are elders, with the 
natural prestige of age, or else men of personal force. Poverty 
of local resources obliges all the inhabitants to pursue the same 
industry, i,e., to hunt food in the same way. Scarcity of food 
compels nomadic habits, hence chattels are few, wealth is not 
accumulated. No one can devote himself to cultivating or 
manufacturing any one thing; there can be no guilds. Two 
exceptions prove the rule : (i) The totem-kins devote themselves to 
the magical increase of particular species for the benefit of the rest 
of the tribe : here is differentiation of industry, and here we have 

1. Becliu. Primitive Folk, 114. The Aleuts had no govemment before the 
Rnasiana cwne. The whalers and the angakoat exercised a predominant influence. . . 
The old men also acted in the capacity of public counsellors. 

2. De Pr^yilk, SodiUs Africaints^ 32. In North Africa the pastoral society is 
modified by the climatic necessity for frequent migration and dispersal. Par suite, 
les quality n^essaires k un chef de nomades, une oertaine pr^voyance, la connaissance 
des lieux, Taptitude k la direction, T^ergie, se d^veloppent chez nn grand nombre 
d'individus comparativement k oe qui a lieu chex les autres races pastorales. — See 
33, 34, for the efiect of industry on the authority of the wife. 

Such " matriarchate " as exists among the Iroquois seems to depend on the 
importance of maize-growing, an industry industrially and magically reserved to 
women. 



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336 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

the prestige of something like a guild; the more important inti- 
chiuma totem-kins show a tendency to turn into guilds with entrance 
by initiation^ and hereditary succession to the headship. (2) the 
sorcerers have a special art, and they tend to form a guild with 
collective prestige, entrance being by initiation, with preference 
to the sons of members,^ 

(d) In all these classes the part played by personal ability must 
not be under-rated. Not the elder merely, but the wise elder ; the 
successful whaler; the sagacious farmer; the guide with a genius 
for direction — is the leader in the last resort. Uncivilised people 
are very sensitive to the force of personality. '* Every personality 
has qualities which enable it to persist, to influence others, or to 
overcome them. The savage knows what it is to be overmatched 
by the qualities of woman, elder, warrior. . . . Not merely 
was every personality, human and other, endowed with qualities, 
but by virtue of these qualities it possessed a potentiality, 
an atmosphere of its own. The successful warrior and hunter, by 
more than his successes, by his confidence and his brag, his 
readiness to quarrel and his vindictiveness — or the many wintered 
elder, wise and slow to wrath, experienced in war and forestry, 
of far-reaching purpose and subtle in execution — would be 
enshrined in a belief in his powers, surrounded with a halo of 
which we still see a dim reflection in the touching regard enter- 
tained for a political leader, or the worship paid to an ecclesiastical 
dignitary." 3 

All our conceptions of luck, success, influence, energy, spirit- 
uality, charm, seem to be summed up by uncivilised man in the 
striking generalisation, appearing in so many savage vocabularies, 
which is best represented by the Melanesian mana. Mana is the 
common root of religion and magic, but no less is it held to 
account for every kind of success; and the eminent man is, ex 
hypothesei, the man with mana. 

The Bororo chief's ability to **sing Bakururu " is possibly 
a special test for the possession of matui^ But to regard such 
"chiefs" as kings without the powers and privileges of kingship, 

1. Lang. Social Origins, 198. 

2. Wiradjuri, S. E. Australia. Spencer and Gillen. "Making and Power of 
Magicians." Nat. Tribes, 522; North Tribes, 467. 

3. Hartland. Brit. Aas., York, 1906. 

4. Cf. Hewitt. Amer. Anthr., N.S. 4, 37. All singing interpreted as a putting 
forth of orenda. 



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AUTHORITY IN UNCIVILISED SOCIETY 337 

chosen for unusual and fantastic qualifications, would probably 
be to look at the question from the wrong end : it is rather the 
case that in these simple societies authority is very slightly 
developed, so that a man noted for some special quality gains so 
much prestige as to be deferred to in other matters as well. 
Probably there is no formal election of the Bororo "chief" 
— a good singer is talked about, his prestige grows, and it comes 
to be well known that he will be the most eminent man when 
So-and-so dies. 

This fluid and informal character of authority in simple societies 
offers one possible explanation of the existence of sacred and 
magical chiefs. In the country of the blind the one-eyed are kings ; 
and where there is equality of material advantages, no predominant 
industry, and no organised warfare, it is not surprising that 
such specialists as the magician and the rainmaker should gather 
round them authority and influence. Or again, if mana makes 
itself felt as a social factor in the affairs of daily life, in the catching 
of whales or the accumulation of pigs and feather money, how- 
much more when the possessor concentrates his energies on 
wonder-working 1 The man with mana who develops his myster- 
ious powers, who devotes himself to making the rain fall and the 
crops thrive, becomes highly interesting to his neighbours; and 
where there is no definite secular authority to compete for their 
interest, he monopolises resp^ect, observances, and petty tributes. 
The concentration of the public attention on his person and actions 
tends to associate him very closely with the fortunes and misfor- 
tunes of the community. With his life and vigour is bound up 
the prosperity of the crops and herds on whose behalf he exerts 
his powers. Hence (in part) the multiplication of precautionary 
taboos, even to that last tragic precaution which has established 
itself, in theory at least, as the characteristic fate of the ** Divine 
King." Further, this sacred personage, once known, becomes 
indispensable ; the office must be filled ; it becomes traditional and 
formal, open to a sort of undistinguished persons who seem to 
derive from it more mana than they confer 1 European travellers, 
enquiring for a ** king " with court and attendants, accept as 
such the harmless Chief Ekpei Mbei of an African village — an 
insignificant old man, too poor to escape office by forfeiting the 
value of two slaves, who exercises no single function of govern- 
ment. "They keep me here to look after the jujus, and to conduct 
the rites celebrated when women are about to give birth to children, 
and other ceremonies of the same kind. By the observance of 

B 



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338 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

these, I bring game to the hunter, cause the yam crop to be good, 
bring fish to the fisherman and make rain to fall. So they bring^ 
me meat, yams, and fish."^ 

Generally speaking, the chiefs, whom we have described so far, 
develop a moral sovereignty only. " Les ny^r^ ne sont point des 
dominateurs, il n'agissent que par persuasion et par influence." 
The whalers and the angakout and the elders among the Aleut 
** exercised a predominant influence .... but anyone might 
gainsay them if he liked." Reclus draws the inference that " the 
Esquimaux seeks less for domination than for superiority; he 
prefers direction to command." The fact is that command must 
be backed by force, which chiefs of this sort have no chance of 
acquiring. 

Their material privileges are slight. Sometimes, like the Bororo 
chief, they serve at their own expense; sometimes they receive a 
moderate contribution from their neighbours, as compensation for 
their loss of time and the expense of hospitality, or as a recognition 
of the value of their services on special occasions.* 

Such chiefs have very little concern with public justice. The 
resentment of personal wrongs, including homicide, is left to the 
vengeance of the individual, the family, or the kinship-group. 
Only in the case of offences which shock and alarm the community, 
such as the practice of sorcery and breaches of the major taboos, 
the chiefs take the lead in getting rid of a dangerous nuisance.^ 
Akin to this is the action of the elders in composing bloodfeuds 

1. Partridge, Man^ 1908, 29. From Cross River Natives, 1905. Cf. Merker, 
Die Masai (Berlin, 1904), 18ff, qaoted by Dr. Frazer, Lectures on the Early 
History of the Kingship. **The designation chief (for the Masai ol oihoni) is, 
strictly speaking, not correct; the chief does not govern directly and exercises no 
administrative function. . . . The firm belief of his subjects in his prophetic gifts 
and his power of sorcery gives him an influence on the destinies of his people. . . . 
He is not so much a ruler as a national saint or patriarch.** He averts civil war by 
withholding his sanction, supplies remedies for plagues, ^^ints religious festivals, 
delivers predictions. 

2. At the Engwura festival, the younger men have to hunt for Uie benefit of the 
elders who stay in camp and consult upon the procedure. Sp. and G. Nat, Tr. 

8. The Australian elders meet in council to deal with branches of the marriage 
regulations, and organise an alninga party to kill or wound the offenders, or else 
agree to surrender them to a hostile tribe, or call in a neighbouring group to carry 
out their sentence (t.e., the executive does not feel strong enough to defy a bloodfeud 
with the offender*^ relations). A man "quarrelsome and strong in evfl magic** may 
be disposed of in the same way. Sp. and 0., NaJL Tri. 490 — 495. 



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AUTHORITY IN UNCIVILISED SOCIETY 339 

which are dangerous and troublesome tothe community.^ Disputes 
of other kinds are sometimes referred to them for settlement ; but 
here they have no force to back their decision ; they can only give 
an expert opinion on the question of equity. 

The leading men direct the operations of the community in the 
most important industry, especially in agriculture. Sometimes 
they appear to decide questions of peace and war ; but obviously 
they depend on the agreement of the fighting men in general to 
make their decision effective.* 

Where the personality of the individual counts for so much, 
we must not look for fixed rules of succession. The son of the 
Melanesian chief may inherit his dignity, but only if he can give 
proof of similar powers. Nothing succeeds like success. In short, 
the conception of authority in the simple society is loose, indefinite 
and informal. 

Generically distinct from the foregoing types is a class of chiefs 
whose power seems at first sight less significant, being professedly 
temporary, but with whom alone we find, in fact, the germ of 
real authority. These are the chiefs who are chosen for a particular 
enterprise — ^the leader of the hunting-party, the captain of the 
fishing fleet, the Tajoun of the Aleuts,^ the migration-chief of the 
Tartars and the Arabs, and, typically, the war-chief.* Such leaders 

1. There have been a lew instances of mnrder among the Aleuts, on which 
occasions the nearest relative avenged the victim. But if retaliation brought about 
fresh retaliation, several villages called up the affair, and the chief men pronounced 
sentence. It is in the most exceptional cases that the permanent jury intervenes, 
save to adjust differences and explain misunderstandings. Beclus, Primitivh Folk, 86. 

2. In Central Australia, the Alatunja sends round accredited messengers, carrying 
ehuringa, to summon the local groups for war when some other local group has been 
aggressive. When the men are assembled, a council of elder men is held, and it is 
decided to send an avenging party, Atninga, against the aggressors. (This is not a 
real war but an expression of the community's resentment against outsiders, com- 
parable to the resentment against a member who has made himself a nuisance.) 
Sp. & G., Nat, Tr,, 490. 

3. Becius, Primitive FM, 114. 

Livingstone, op. cit.^ 599, informal supremacy of leader of hunting-party. 

Hill Tout, British N. America, The Far West, 158, Among the Eastern Den^, a 
nomadic people of slight social organisation, each family group looked after its own 
interest; but when united action was necessary, the direction of the hunt was left 
to . . . the most experienced of the elder men . . . the nearest approach they ever 
made towards constituted central authority. 

4. Beclus. Primitive Folk, 18i6. The Apache are unhampered by any form of 
government. But for an expedition, they unite under the command of an individual 
of striking personal superiority, whose authority ends with the enterprise. If 
hostilities are prolonged, the influence of the war-chief often grows greater than is 



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340 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

are chosen by popular election, explicit or implicit, for they must 
have the confidence of all who share in the enterprise. 

As long as the enterprise lasts, their authority is unquestioned. 
To the war-chief in particular the necessities of discipline give 
absolute power. When the fiery cross or the quartered oxen have 
been sent round the country, woe to the man who does not hasten 
to the chief's standard.^ Insubordination, treachery, cowardice, 
desertion are punished with instant death, just as in time of peace 
the community asserts its power to put away the dangerous or 
troublesome offender, so the war-chief slays the man who imperils 
the undertaking of the moment.^ In this case, too, it is not a 
punishment but a precaution. The man who breaks the war-taboos 
must die — he would bring bad luck to the army.^ The people flee 
before the men of Ai until Achan and the accursed thing are 
taken away from among them. The chief controls the spoil ; his 
word on the distribution of it is final;* otherwise discipline would 
be at an end. He regulates the commissariat, or the warriors 
might break some capital tabu,* or the enemy's cattle might divert 
them from the task of fighting. Disobedience in either respect 
means death. The chief's sentence is carried out by his " young 
men," the picked warriors who fight near his person and share 
his special exploits. More than this, popular feeling supports the 
chief's discipline as necessary for success and safety ; the omen-god 
** answers neither by urim nor by thummim " when the chief's 
orders have been disobeyed® — all Israel stone Achan with stones 

desirable. Some tribea recognise a purely moral authority in their peace-chiefs, 
personages always distinct from the military chiefs. 

Doaghty, Wanderings in Arabia, 1908, i, 98 et passim. The faead-sheykh of the 
Beduin tribes is essentially the man who conducts the journeying and the foray. 
The temporary anihoriiy of the Pasha in conmiand of the Mecca pilgrimage is like- 
wise absolute. 

1. i. Samuel 11, 7. Judges 5, 23; 8, 12. 

2. Livingstone, op. cit., 84. Sebituane (the Makololo chief) led his men into 
battle himself. When he saw the enemy he felt the edge of his battle-axe and said, 
"Aha! whoever turns his back on the enemy will feel its edge." So fleet of foot 
was he, that all his people knew there was no escape for the coward. ... In some 
instances of skulking, he allowed the individual to return home; then calling him, 
he would say, "Ah, you prefer dying at home to dying in the field, do you? Tou 
shall have your desire." This was the signal for his immediate execution. 

3. Joshua, 7. 

4. i. Samuel, 30, 24. As his share is that goeth down to the battle, so shall his 
be that tarrieth by the stuff. 

5. i. Samuel, 14. Boll a great stone unto me . . . bring me hither every man his 
ox . . . and slay them here and eat, and sin not against the Lord in eating with the 
blood Cursed be the man that eateth any food till it be evening. 

6. i. Samuel, 14, 88. 



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AUTHORITY IN UNCIVILISED SOCIETY 341 

and burn him with fire.^ In cases of hardship, there is an appeal 
from the king to the army— * 'shall Jonathan die, who hath wrought 
this great salvation in Israel?"^ 

The occupation of arms can hardly be called a highly specialised 
occupation, for in primitive society all the able-bodied are potential 
soldiers ; but it is an occupation which demands the highest degree 
of specialisation of faculties while it is being exercised. If for any 
reason a part only of the community undertake it, they acquire 
special honour and special privileges; when the whole community 
is put on a war-footing, individual excellence is peculiary con- 
spicuous. Nothing exceeds the prestige of the military caste unless 
it be the prestige of the successful general. 

But under normal conditions the primitive community is on 
the war-footing only temporarily. The danger is over — ** God 
is forgotten and the soldier slighted." When the lifted cattle and 
the women have been recovered, the boundary vindicated — at least 
before the bad weather sets in — the soldiers return to their everyday 
occupations. Here the chief's absolute authority should also come 
to an end. As with the Tajoun at the end of the fishing-season, 
so for the Apache war-chief, * 'farewell to command." The dictator 
should lay down his imperium, and retire, with added glory, to 
his plough. 

But if a tribe is continually at war with its neighbours, the 
need of the war-chief may be indefinitely prolonged;^ and with it 
his power, and the prestige of the fighting men. And even when 
the occasion has gone by, the war-chief may find a pretext for 
keeping up a bodyguard* of men trained under his own eye, 
responsible to himself alone, among whom military discipline is 
maintained. They become a standing army of professional 
soldiers. Here at last we have a king, with real authority, because 
he has force to back his commands. 

Such a king may gain despotic power, so as to dispose of life 
and property at his pleasure. There are two possible checks to 
this development of absolutism : one existed before the war — the 
council of elders or of heads of households, with their tradition of 

1. Jadges, 7, 26. 

2. i. Samoel, 14, 46. Livy., i., 26. 

3. So the continual neoeasity of migration in search of water and pasture has 
made the office of the leading sheykh permanent and hereditary among the Arabian 
Bedaw. Doughty, Wanderings in Arabia, 1908, i, 98 et passim. 

4. Asking for a bodyguard was the regular gambit of the Greek tyrant. Some- 
times a foreign bodyguard, still more irresponsible, is hired, e.g., David's Carians. 



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342 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

deliberation ; the other is proper to the state of war — the assembly 
of the fighting men, with their right of voting yes or no on the 
campaign in which they are to risk their lives, and the appeal to 
them which the king allows in hard cases. Where these two 
checks survive, there is the germ of constitutional government. 

We noted that in the simplest societies known to us Public 
Justice was almost undeveloped — that the elders were sometimes 
consulted on questions of equity — that they expressed the general 
resentment of certain dangerous offences, and that when they 
decided on the removal of an offender, their sentence was put in 
force by a sort of organised lynch-law. But personal wrongs, 
including homicide, were left for private vengeance to redress, 
though the elders sometimes interfered to stop the bloodfeud when 
it was a public danger. 

With an authority rather more developed, the * great sheykh ' 
of the nomad Beduins presides over the daily assembly of the 
sheukh, heads of families and kindreds.^ "This is the council of 
the elders and the public tribunal : hither the tribesmen bring their 
causes at all times, and it is pleaded by the maintainers of both 
sides with busy clamour ; and every one may say his word that will. 
The sheykh meanwhile takes council with the sheukh, elder men 
and more considerable persons, and judgment is given commonly 
without partiality and always without bribes. This sentence is final. 
The loser is mulcted is heads of small cattle or camels, which he 
must pay anon, or go into exile, before the great sheykh send 
executors to distrain any beasts of his, to the estimation of the 
debt." Yet the sheykh has only a moral authority, without 
material means of enforcing his orders. **The sheykh may per- 
suade, he cannot compel any man, and if the malcontent will go 
apart, he cannot detain them" (p. 175). There is no capital 
punishment, even for homicide; it rests with the kindred to accept 
a composition in lieu of vengeance.* 

Sometimes this judicial institution survives the establishment 
of the war-kingship. The warlike emirs of the Rashld dynasty at 
H&yil administer justice under the same forms as the Beduin 
sheykhs; with this significant difference, that ** a hundred and 
fifty men-at-arms, executors of the emir and riders in his ghrazzus, 

1. Doughty, Wanderings in ArabiOf I, 96. 

2> The patriarchal justice of the Hottentot chief and council of twelve elders is 
less mild — capital punishment is inflicted with the consent of the calprit's family. 
De Pr^ville, Les SociitSs Africmnes, 130. 



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AUTHORITY IN UNCIVILISED SOCIETY 343 

sit here (before the tyrant) in the place of the people in the nomad 
mejlis." ^ 

But as a rule, after the war, there is a marked extension of the 
judicial powers of the chief. Firstly, because power draws power 
to itself. People are likely to refer all sorts of questions to the 
king in person rather than to any former arbitrators, because he is 
known to have power to enforce his decisions.' Secondly, the war- 
chief settled disputes among the warriors as they arose, and the 
habit of appealing to him remains. Again, during the war, the 
war-chief undertook, for the safety of the army, to enforce the 
major tabus; the king retains his jurisdiction, and punishes witch- 
craft, sacrilege and breaches of the marriage law ;' the bodyguard 
carry out his sentences. 

How the king acquires jurisdiction in homicide is not so clear. 
But, during the campaign, it is pretty certain that he forbade 
lighting in his presence or in his camp ; if a man slew another in 
his presence, he took it as an offence against discipline and slew 
the aggressor; and against the war-chief there was no bloodfeud. 
Hence killing and wounding near the king's court is an offence 
against the king.* Further, when the clans met for war, blood- 

1. Doaghty, op, cU,^ i. 266. Of. Liyingsione, op. eii., 184. ComplaiiiU broaght 
before the Bechuana chief and people assembled in the kotla ; the chief delivers judg- 
ment, guided by the opinions expressed by the elders. Cf. Boscoe, The Bahima^ 
J.A.I., 87, »7. 

2. Whenever the British forces made an advance in Northern Nigeria, the camp 
was besieged by discontented suitors appealing from the native courts to the new 
power. Hazzledine, Tht WhiU Man in Nigeria, 

3. Dennett, At the Back of the Black Man's Mind, 35 and 53. Fjote tribe, 
Kongo : — Ordinary offences (both civil and criminal in our phraseology) are tried by 
a court of justice, which orders a fine to be paid to the injured party ; but it is left 
to the winner of the case and his family to enforce payment. But certain violations 
of morality are "God palavers,*' and are said to provoke drought and famine. 
In such cases the culprits, male and female, are aitirely in the hands of the King : 
they are generally burnt. Witches who fail to pass the poison ordeal are also burnt. 
The king has the right of pardon. 

4. Ethelbert, cap. 2. If the king call his leod to him and anyone there do them 
evil, let him compensate with a two-fold hot and fifty shillings to the king — Alfred, 
cap. 32. If a man fight before a king's ealdorman in the gemot, let him make hot 
wilh wer and wite, and before this 120 shillings to the ealdorman as wite. If he 
disturb the folkmote by drawing his weapon, 120 shillings to the ealdorman.- Cnut., 
cap. 83. And I will that every man be entitled to grith (t.e., the king's peace) to the 
gemot and from the gemot, except he be a notorious thief. 

Before the Conquest the English kings had only special peace, of things done in 
their court, on festivals, or on their high roads. In Norman times any breach of 
order or justice throughout the kingdom came to be regarded as a breach of the 
king's peace. 



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344 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

feuds were suspended; if a warrior nevertheless killed his 
hereditary enemy, the war-chief might kill him for the breach 
of discipline, and there was no retaliation ; the vendetta, however 
long, came to an end with the war-chief's intervention. So the 
king, if his power warrants it, may stop a dangerous blood- 
feud by putting the latest aggressor to death. Thirdly, with 
some peoples — ^for instance, the Greeks and the Israelites — ^the 
horror of blood and the resulting blood-tabu were so strongly 
developed that the manslayer was regarded as a danger^ to his 
neighbours. This made homicide one of the crimes which the 
community resented. Even in war, the shedding of tribal blood 
would be forbidden, and the war-chief would enforce the tabu. 
But how widely this aversion to bloodshedding, as such, extends 
over the ancient or the uncivilised world, is not at present clear. 

No blood-feud lies against the king. There is no redress, 
short of rebellion, for wrongs done by him. People with a strong 
ethical turn, like the Israelites, saved the situation by making the 
king responsible to the tribal God, with whom, as the god of the 
war-league and the battleK)men, the war-chief had been in such 
close connection. Where no such conception arose, the doctrine 
of the royal irresponsibility opened the way to infinite cruelty and 
injustice. 

The war-chief disposed of the spoil during the campaign. 
For obvious reasons of discipline, he assigned the cattle for the 
commissariat and presided over the final distribution when the 
war ended, giving prizes to the deserving and keeping a special 
share for himself.^ The leaders who formed his council of war 
shared his mess. 

The king's nominal ownership of goods and cattle is modified 
by the same sort of stewardship. The Homeric kings feasted 
their council and kept open house. Among the warlike Makololo, 
the chief was expected to feed all who accompanied him.^ "The 
acknowledged rule throughout this country is, that the chief should 
feed all strangers who come on any special business to him and 

1. Fraaer, Anthropological Essays presented to E. B, Taylor, 104. 

2. Doaghty, op. cit., i, 278. 

3. Livingstone, Missionary Travels, 1857, 206. He selects oxen from his own 
cattle-stations or requisitions them from the headmen of villages. After the oxen are 
cut up, the joints are placed before Sekeletu, and he apportions them among the 
gnitlemen of the party. 225 : The chief cannot, without a deviation from their 
customs, eat alone. 



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AUTHORITY IN UNCIVILISED SOCIETY 345 

take up their abode in his kotla." ^ In the etiquette of rude 
courts, the formalities of the patriarchal household alternate with 
those of the camp.^ 

The rule of succession to these warlike kingships varies widely. 
Normally it depends on election by the members of the ruling 
(warrior) caste. Sometimes the most able of the king's sons is 
chosen — in West Africa * not often the eldest son ' ^ — ^among the 
Banyai a distant relation is preferred.* In many cases the king 
acknowledges as heir-apparent a kinsman of his own generation, 
whose support he wishes to secure. Speaking generally, personal 
ability overrides hereditary claims;* but in saying this we are 
leaving on one side not only the perplexing question of female 
chiefship,®but also the toleration not seldom shewn to incompetent 
kings. ^ 

All these consequences of the war-chief*s supremacy are inten- 
sified when a victorious tribe settles in the territory of a conquered 
enemy. The development of kingship is then almost inevitable. 
The warriors cannot return to the customs of civil life — they have 
left the old associations and the authority of the elders behind 
them in their native country. The only possibility of order lies in 
perpetuating the discipline of the army : the king is the only 
judge and arbitrator. The warriors and their descendants form a 
superior caste, exacting tribute from the conquered people or 
reducing them to slavery. An inner circle of young men remains 
near the king's person, and maintains the military tradition with 
even greater strictness. For instance, among the Banyai, there 
was a class of freemen under the chief who could never be sold, 
and under them a class of slaves. Monina, the chief, had with 
him a number of young men from 12 to 15 years of age. These 
were all sons of free men, who lived with him to learn * manhood.' 

1. Op, cit., 196 and 89. Sebituane would accost poor strangers and prepare a meal 
for them with his own hands. 

2. See desctiption, op, cit,, 206. 

3. Ling Both, Great Benin, 99 : 101. 

4. Livingstone, op. ciL, 617. 

5. Boscoe, The Bahima, J.A.I. , S7 : 97. 

6. Livingstone, op, cit., 179, 278, 281, 461. 

7. Maples, Journals and Papers, 1899, 38, 42, 44. The Mkaya of Meto in Portu- 
guese East Africa ... a foolish dissipated boy of nineteen . . . they will put up 
with folly, immorality and drunkenness and only rebel when cruelty and injustice 
are added (1881). 



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346 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

They were kept under a strict discipline, and remained unmarried 
until a fresh set of youths was ready to take their place.^ 

The history of Africa south of the Sahara is practically the 
history of such conquests. Almost everywhere is found a ruling 
caste, living under an organisation which sufficiently betrays its 
military origin; keeping their cattle, the patent of nobility, 
wherever the climate allows, and supplementing the products of 
the pastoral art with tribute exacted from their subjecs. Such were 
the Makololo among the Barotse; such are the Niam-niam on the 
Upper Well6, the Fulani among the Haussa. Below them, a 
stratification of tribes, in which it is not easy to distinguish the 
aboriginal population from the depressed conquerors of yesterday. 
Thus, in the Upper Well^ district, there are (i) the Niam-niam, 
a warlike invading race from the north, whose chiefs have much 
greater power than most Central African chiefs; their rule is 
absolute even to despotism, with power of life and death; (2) the 
Mangbettou, who were the ruling people of the district fifteen 
years ago, now a dispersed remnant; themselves divided into 
commons, and nobles, who carry spear and shield in battle; "these 
men do not work," says the chief; (3) under the Mangbettou, 
further south, the Mege, a bush race, using bows and arrows, 
ruled by a chief of the old Mangbettou tribe, now scattered; (4) 
further south again, the Mabode, an agricultural tribe, using 
poisoned arrows , smaller and darker than the tribes round them ; 
(5) living among the Mabode, the Akka pygmies.* 

Supreme though the king's authority may be, it is a physical 
impossibility for him to exercise it without delegation, if his 
territory is at all large; the question is, whether his servants will 
become an official class or his warriors a feudal nobiity.* Devel- 
opment in either direction may end in the disappearance of his 
personal power. 

The sacred aspect of authority, in the pre-military society has 
been touched upon ; * the same feature appears in the authority 
of the post-military king. Not only is it natural to explain 
his prestige as general and ruler in terms of mana, but other 

1. Livingstone, op. cit., 618. This association of free-born children with the king 
is not unconunon. Cf. the King of Benin's rotinne of boys. The canoes of the 
Nigerian kings are rowed by boys. The Bororo chief's ceremonial singing is accom- 
panied by a choms of children. Why do the Westminster School boys acclaim the 
king aCthe Coronation? and what are the Children of the Chapel Royal? 

2. Burrows, J.A.I., N.S. 1 : 40, 41, 42. 

3. Boscoe, The Bahima, J.A.I., 87 : 98 ff. Ling Both, Great Benin : 92. 

4. Pp. 386, 337. 



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AUTHORITY IN UNCIVILISED SOCIETY 347 

current manifestations of mana tend to attach themselves to his 
reputation. Thus, to take one instance only, the warrior king 
of the Bakwains provided rain for his people.^ But is the 
king typically a divine person or a magician ? Rather, whenever 
the sacrosanct conception of kingship, with its attendant restric- 
tions, develops beyond the limit of practical convenience, the royal 
power becomes unreal and disappears. The ''Divine King" is 
not the working king who rules, but the King Archon, the Rex 
Sacrificulus, the Mikado, the Son of Heaven, or the Dalai Lama. 
We might almost venture to say that the Divine Kings are not 
kings at all, at least in the sense which concerns the study of 
Authority. 

Barbara Freire-Marreco. 



1. lavingatone, op, cit, 20. Cole, J.A.I. 32 : 321 ; and other evidence quoted in 
Dr. Fruer's Lectures on the Early History of the Kingship. 

[The greater part of this paper was rmd at a meeting of Professor L. T. Hob- 
house's seminar in Sociology, at the London School of Economics, in March 1908.] 



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348 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 



RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE STUDY OF 
SOCIAUSM.* 

Socialism, in its most modern form, has some claim to be 
regarded as an essentially British product, with Robert Owen as 
its principal creator; and, though perhaps its development, both 
prior and subsequent to Owen, has been more conspicuously seen 
in other countries — on the more Utopian side of France, on the 
more scientific side in Germany — there are not wanting signs that 
the leadership, at least in its more practical aspects, may revert to 
us. It seems clear, at any rate, that our countrymen are not 
content to be mere disciples of any continental school; and that 
there are vigorous movements, in directions that can be more 
or less definitely characterised as Socialistic, which are distinctly 
and emphatically British in their spirit and method. The most 
notable of these are the Fabian Society and the Independent 
Labour Party. Neither of these is Socialistic in any extreme sense 
of the word. The British tendency to opportunism and compromise 
is very visible in their work. The Independent Labour Party does 
not appear, any more than other political parties in this country, 
to be committed to any formal creed; and the Fabian Society, 
though avowedly Socialistic, is prepared to understand that term 
in a somewhat more elastic sense than that which is sometimes 
given to it. Both are certainly opposed to the dominating influence 
of capital in private hands; and this is at least sufficient for the 
time to unite them in common action, however much they might 
diverge in their ultimate conceptions of the ideal that is to be 
aimed at. 

The two books now before us are typical instances of this 
characteristically British attitude towards Socialism. Both are 
distinctly good — thoughtful, clear, temperate, sensible, with hardly 
any trace of that visionary enthusiasm which is still associated in 
many minds with Socialistic schemes. They have much in 
common, and yet they are sufficiently different to have, each of 
them, an independent interest of its own. The one by Mr. Wells 
is, at least on a first view, the more original and attractive of 
the two. It represents a more individual point of view, and is 

* New Worlds for Old. Bv H. 6. Wells. London : Arohibald ConsUble and Co., 
Ltd.. 1908. Pp. 365. The Socialist Movement in England, By Brougham Villiers. 
London T. Fisher Unwin. Pp. xiii., 340. 



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THE STUDY OF SOCIALISM 349 

more picturesque and stimulating in its style. The other is more 
purely historical and is even, by comparison, somewhat matter-of- 
fact and unadventurous ; but it certainly contains a great deal of 
valuable material well put together, and a great deal of careful 
thought and genuine insight. 

The general view of Mr. Wells is based upon a fundamental 
optimism with regard to human nature and the universe as a 
whole — an optimism which he expresses by the statement that 
* Good Will ' is a dominating force in history. '* This Good 
Will of our race, however arising, however trivial, however sub- 
ordinated to individual ends, however comically inadequate a thing 
it may be in this individual case or in that, is in the aggregate an 
operating will. In spite of all the confusions and thwartings of 
life, the halts and resiliencies and the counter strokes of fate, it 
is manifest that in the long run human life becomes broader than it 
was, gentler than it was, finer and deeper. On the whole — and 
now-a-days almost steadily — things get better. There is a secular 
amelioration of life, and it is brought about by Good Will working 
through the efforts of men " (pp. 5 — 6). This persistent optimism 
prevents Mr. Wells from the temptation to an acrid criticism 
either of the present or of the past from which many Socialist 
writers are unable to guard themselves. ** For all our sins," he 
says (p. 9), ** I am sure the sense of justice is quicker and more 
nearly universal than ever before." And he is even eager to insist, 
as against some earlier utterances of Socialists, that ** property is 
not robbery. It may be a mistake, it may be unjust and socially 
disadvantageous to recognise private property in these great 
common interests, but every one concerned, and the majority of 
the property owners certainly, held and hold in good faith, and 
do their best by the light they have " (p. 162). This fine ethical 
optimism gives to the statements of Mr. Wells an unusual suavity, 
tolerance, and fairness. 

Another specially noticeable feature in his book is the emphasis 
that he lays on the rearing and education of children. He puts 
this in the very forefront of his study. ** The first— the chief 
aspect of social life in relation to which the Socialist finds the 
world now planless and drifting, and for which he earnestly 
propounds the scheme of a better order, is that whole side of 
existence which is turned towards children, their begetting and 
upbringing, their care and education " (p. 28). He takes, like 
Plato, as quite the most fundamental conception in an ideal 
society ** the principle that the Community as a whole is the 



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350 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

general Over-Parent of all its children ; that the parents must be 
made answerable to the community for the welfare of their 
children, for their clear minds and clean bodies, their eyesight 
and weight and training; and that, on the other hand, the parents 
who do their duty well are as much entitled to collective provision 
for their needs and economic security as a soldier, a judge, or any 
other sort of public servant '* (p. 44). Mr. Wells treats the 
problem of industrial reorganisation as being really subordinate to 
this question of the satisfactory upbringing of the children of the 
State. In this he is, of course, largely at one with Robert Owen 
and others; but on the whole this is not the most prominent 
consideration with Socialists in general. 

In connection with this question, it should be noted that Mr. 
Wells does not by any means ignore the difficulty that naturally 
occurs to most minds as involved in thepointof view here suggested. 
**A State," he says (p. 216) '*that undertakes to sustain all the 
children born ihto it will do its best to secure good births. That 
implies a distinct bar to the marriage and reproduction c^ the halt 
and the blind, the bearers of transmissible diseases and the like.'* 
This species of social selection is naturally not a subject on which 
the dreamers of socal Utopias care to dwell ; yet it seems clear that 
it is a very essential part of any such proposals ; and one cannot but 
regret that Mr. Wells has not brought it out a little more fully. 
Plato had a much fuller conception of what is implied in it than 
most of our modern writers. 

The strong sense of the supreme importance of education not 
only leads Mr. Wells to put the problem of the children in the 
forefront of his argument, but reappears at intervals throughout 
his treatment, and especially leads him to emphasise the need of 
securing certain forms of freedom and individuality in a society 
that is predominantly Socialistic. ** We must insure/' he says 
(P* 293) '' ^^^ continuity of the collective mind; that is manifestly 
a primary necessity for Socialism. The attempt to realise the 
Marxist idea of a democratic Socialism without that, might easily 
fail into the abortive birth of an acephalous monster, the secular 
development of administrative Socialism give the world over to a 
bureaucratic mandarinate, self-satisfied, interfering and unteach- 
able, with whom wisdom would die. And yet we Socialists can 
produce in our plans no absolute bar to these possibilities. Here 
I can suggest only in the most general terms methods and certain 
principles. They need to be laid down as vitally necessary to 
Socialism, and so far they have not been so laid down. They have 



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THE STUDY OF SOCIALISM 35^ 

still to be incorporated in the Socialist creed. They are essentially 
principles of that Liberalism out of whose generous aspirations 
Socialism sprang, but they are principles that even to-day, 
unhappily, do not figure in the fundamental professions of any 
Socialist body." The principles here referred to are freedom of 
speech, freedom of writings and universality of information. 

Nor is this the only way in which Mr. Wells recognises the 
importance of freedom. It may even be said that his ultimate 
ideal is one of complete freedom. " The Anarchist world," he 
says (p, 257) ** is our dream; we do believe — ^well, I, at any rate, 
believe — ^this present world, this planet, will some day bear a race 
beyond our most exalted and temerarious dreams, a race begotten 
of our wills and the substance of our bodies, a race, so I have said 
it, ' who will stand upon the earth as one stands upon a footstool, 
and laugh and reach out their hands amidst the stars,' but the way 
to that is through education and discipline and law. . • . Socialism 
is the school-room of true and noble Anarchism, wherein by 
training and restraint we shall make free men." It would seem, 
then, that the discipline of Socialism is, in the end, to lead us to 
something akin to Nietzsche's *' Superman "; and one wonders 
a little whether the discipline is not rather too far removed from 
that which is intended to be its outcome. If a free humanity is 
the goal, can it be quite true that a mechanical discipline is the 
path ? But, at any rate, Mr. Wells is not unique in this view of 
the relation between Socialism and Anarchism. Something very 
similar is to be found in the writings of William Morris and others. 
The Socialistic State is, we might even say, in general, the 
Purgatory of the social idealist, rather than his Heaven. 

The last quotation that I have made from Mr. Wells suggests a 
qualification on the previous statement as tothetemperatenessof his 
views. I think it must be allowed that occasionally he gets a little 
carried away in a whirl of words, and approximates even to the 
extravagances of some of the earlier Utopia-builders. But this is, 
on the whole, exceptional. Most of his utterances are clear, 
accurate, and well supported. One must protest a little, however, 
against such a statement as that '* There can be no doubt that 
many of those older writers who were ' Socialists before Socialism,' 
Plato, for instance, and Sir Thomas More, did very roundly 
abolish private property altogether " (p. 141). Surely Plato 
intended his industrial class to have private property, though with 
some restrictions. Again, is it right to refer to Ruskin as '* a 
professed Socialist " ? (p. 232), The remarks about the legitimacy 



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353 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

of interest (p. 144) seem to treat in a rather off-hand fashion a 
matter that has in recent times been submitted to a very searching- 
analysis. *' J. H. Robertson " (p. 198) is no doubt a raiere 
misprint. 

If the work of Mr. Villiers seems at first less striking than that 
of Mr. Wells, it is probably not in reality any less important. If 
not as picturesque in style, it is more careful in its reasoning and 
more exact in its expression. It is a good deal more than a history 
of the Socialist movement in England : it is also an appreciation 
and a criticism. The purely historical part occupies, it is true, the 
bulk of the volume. '* There is an international aspiration in 
Socialism,** says Mr. Villiers (p. 18), ** there cannot be an 
international method.*' Much of the interest of his book lies in 
the way in which he brings out the peculiarities of the British 
method. He points out that it is only quite recently that Socialism 
has become much of a power in this country. ** No existing- 
Socialist organisation in England can claim a history of over 30 
years, while it is only within half that time that Socialism 
has again become a power in the land '* (p. 51). The earlier 
history of Socialism in England is consequently little more than a 
record of individual efforts, including of course those of John Ball 
and Sir Thomas More. This record is, however, very well given ; 
and the interest of the story increases as the writer passes on to the 
Industrial Revolution and the pioneer work of Robert Owen and 
others. But it seems pretty clear that the main interest of Mr. 
Villiers is in the more recent developments of Socialism, and 
especially in its present prospects, rather than in the remoter 
causes that have led up to it. His account of William Morris is 
particularly appreciative, and he has interesting references to 
Carlyle, Ruskin, Maurice, Kingsley, and others, which are usually 
instructive — though the phrase **Carlyle's deep sympathy with 
oppression '* (p. 61), contains an unfortunate ambiguity. But the 
account of the Fabian Society and of the growth and influence of 
the Independent Labour Party, together with the general remarks 
on the present position and future outlook of the socialistic move- 
ment, is probably the jMirt of the book by which most readers will 
be chiefly attracted. 

Mr. Villiers opens this part of his work with the remark (p. 
103) that **the deep-rooted character of English politics, the thing 
that has broken the hearts of generations of idealists here, is an 
essential Whiggishness, a spirit of compromise, that prevents us, 
as a nation, ever doing anything the way its advocates want us to 



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THE STUDY OF SOCIALISM 353 

do it. British politics are politics of experiment, very largely, in 
all ages, the politics of rule of thumb. Before this general spirit, 
the doctrinaire breaks down hopelessly ; for though he may scnne- 
times get the nation to pay lip-service to his teaching, the old habit 
of compromise always asserts itself in practice; and just at the 
moment the doctrinaire fancies he has won the battle for good, the 
nation does something or other that shows it has never }>aid the 
least attention to his thories." Mr. Villiers evidently believes that 
it has been largely by paying heed to this characteristic of English 
thought that the Fabians have secured so much success, though 
he seems to think that their influence is now somewhat on the wane. 
*• The Fabians," he says, ** living mostly in London, in very 
imperfect touch with the organised workers, taught much, but 
learnt comparatively little. In spite of its surface appearance of 
modernity, there is a flavour of the nineties about Fabianism yet. 
We move fast in these days, and ten years may make of a man 
who fails to keep in touch with the people as much out of date as 
a Chartist or Owenite " (p. 117). (The first **of " in the last 
sentence of this passage is presumably a misprint.) 

Mr. Villiers has apparently more confidence in the work of the 
Independent Labour Party. He points out (p. 215) that the 
political influence of the party is mainly due to the fact that they 
make it difficult for the representatives of other parties to evade 
the fulfilment of anything approaching a pledge on matters that are 
regarded by working men as important. ' ' Members will be accorded 
an opportunity of voting, for or against, any measure they have 
undertaken to support, if the passing of it would be any gain to 
the working-classes." He adds (pp. 176-7) that ** in a very real 
sense, the Labour Party is Socialist. The unity of the party does 
not come from its machinery, effective as that has shown itself to 

be, but from the common spirit that animates its members 

While as yet only a minority are avowed Socialists, there is no 
objection to Socialism anywhere; while practically all the 
Unionists are in favour of the immediate political implications of 
Socialism." 

But perhaps the most interesting point of all in the work of 
Mr. Villiers is the indication that he gives of the spirit of what he 
describes as " the Higher Socialism." He brings out very 
effectively the close connexion between socialistic organisation and 
the use of machinery ; and suggests that the Socialism of the future 
must endeavour to draw a sharp distinction between the mechanical 
and the non-mechanical aspects of life. *' Human work," he 



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354 THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 

declares (pp. 251-2), ** may fairly be divided into two classes — 
that which is elevating and generally more or less pleasant in the 
doing, and that which is essentially unintelligent and brutalising. 
Even apart from purely economic considerations , it